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Knowledge proliferates as you share it

[30.08.2012]

Prof. Wolfgang Reisig (left, HU Berlin) responds to questions from the audience after his presentation. Prof. Heinz-Wilhelm Schmidt (right, RMIT Melbourne) had spoken earlier. Prof. Firoz Kaderali moderated the Symposium honoring Prof. Krämer. Prof. Wolfgang Reisig (left, HU Berlin) responds to questions from the audience after his presentation. Prof. Heinz-Wilhelm Schmidt (right, RMIT Melbourne) had spoken earlier. Prof. Firoz Kaderali moderated the Symposium honoring Prof. Krämer.

Professor Krämer's Farewell Symposium on "Software – Driver for Innovations in Technology, Business and Social Interaction" was held August 30, 2012, in a hotel near Hagen, Germany. Some close colleagues and friends attending the symposium humorously remarked: "You now have more time for your family and hobbies" and "It doesn't hurt." No doubt Professor Krämer will enjoy this new time of life called “retirement,” but he also plans to continue his life's work for the future of software, systems and educational innovations around the world.

Professor Krämer invited several groups of colleagues and friends to attend the event including lead representatives and colleagues from FernUniversität in Hagen; his former and current PhD students and members of his team; and the closest of his scientific companions and long-time friends. More than 100 people accepted his invitation to enjoy this special Symposium.

The scientific seminars in the afternoon (available at: http://www.fernuni-hagen.de/videostreaming/mathinf/dvt/symposium2012.shtml) were followed by a gala dinner in Professor Krämer's honor. Welcome addresses were given by Dr. Manfred Scholle, Chairman of the Board of FernUniversität; Prof. Helmut  Hoyer, Rector of FernUniversität; Prof. Werner Kirsch, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science; and Prof. Detlev Hackstein, Vice-Dean of the same faculty. The scientific seminars in the afternoon (see link to videos above) were followed by a gala dinner in Professor Krämer's honor. Welcome addresses were given by Dr. Manfred Scholle, Chairman of the Board of FernUniversität; Prof. Helmut Hoyer, Rector of FernUniversität; Prof. Werner Kirsch, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science; and Prof. Detlev Hackstein, Vice-Dean of the same faculty.

In his welcome address, Prof. Hoyer, Rector of FernUniversität, highlighted the pioneering work of Bernd Krämer that he considers fundamental for the development of the Virtual University in the 1990's―work which has shaped today's FernUniversität: "Our vision was to offer our students their university with all its functions on their home computer." At the time, such ideas represented completely new territory.

As a holistic-thinking and acting professional, Professor Krämer helped create the technical basis for FernUniversität's virtual offering and contributed innovative e-learning courses in his field. Being a software engineer at heart, he completed several e-learning projects that focus on the supporting technology for computer-mediated teaching and learning processes. In this context, he also became interested in networked communities and social software.

The complete symposium program and biographies together with a short description of the presenters' relationship to Prof. Krämer are collected on a separate page.

The rector supplemented his opening speech in the early afternoon with some personal remarks and memories.

In April 1992, at Krämer's inauguration at FernUniversität, the dean of the former Department of Electrical Engineering, whose name was Helmut Hoyer, said: "We need someone like you, who works at the interface of electrical engineering and computer science." Krämer, who had exchanged the white beaches of Monterey with blue rivers of Hagen, also made the right decision: "The development of data processing technology proved my decision right," as the rector quoted him. According to Krämer, every engineer and every electrical engineer must have knowledge of these areas because almost every system embeds software. "The software brings flexibility and added-value functionality―exactly what customers want to buy."

User-oriented flexibility and functionality were the focal points of three projects Hoyer mentioned as examples of the range of Krämer's outstanding projects: "CUBER - Personalised Curriculum Builder in the Federated Virtual University of the Europe of Regions", "Self-organizing networks and systems" and "edu-sharing". They prove Krämer's scientific skills and networking qualities and can be summed up in one thought: "Knowledge proliferates as you share it." These projects have made essential contributions to raising the research profile of the university in the field of virtual education.

Dr. Manfred Scholle first addressed Krämer's numerous functions in several major scientific organizations, including the Society for Design and Process Science, which held its "17th International Conference on Transformative Science, Engineering, and Business Innovation" in Berlin earlier this year in June. His leading role in this organization is a testament to Krämer's global interconnections as are his professional activities around the world.

As Chairman of the University Board he was pleased that Bernd Krämer was one of those "people with expertise, dedication and foresight", who are willing to contribute their competence as a member of this body.

Vice-Dean Prof. Detlev Hackstein had come up with something special: He gave a brief overview of the origin and development of computer technology since 1936, when Konrad Zuse had built the first fully functional mechanical computer - Zuse 1. He continued with a number of major milestones, ending with the highlight of Krämer's acceptance of the professorship in Hagen.

In his closing words Bernd Krämer expressed his delight that, besides his current team―to which he was extremely grateful for many years of fruitful cooperation―many former team members, colleagues, and scientific companions had come from so far away as Seoul, San Diego, Melbourne, Chicago, Ontario and China. At least six of his former staff and PhD students who were present have been appointed professors after they had left FernUniversität. During his in 20 years in Hagen, Bernd Krämer had received several offers from other universities, but: "The counter-offers of FernUniversität were simply better."

Gerd Dapprich (03.09.2012)

Translation: Bernd Krämer

DVT-Webmaster | 30.10.2012
FernUni-Logo FernUniversität in Hagen, Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik, Lehrgebiet Datenverarbeitungstechnik, 58084 Hagen, Tel.: +49 2331 987-371, E-Mail: dvt-webmaster@fernuni-hagen.de