This content is archived, it could be outdated.
Prestigious Otto Hahn Medal for Matthias Sjerps
Since 1978, the Max Planck Society has honoured up to 30 young scientists and researchers each year for outstanding scientific achievements. This year, Matthias Sjerps of MPI's Psychology of Language Department received this prestigious award for his 2011 dissertation at MPI's Language Comprehension Department about the way listeners manage to deal with variation in speech. The official ceremony will be on June 13 in Düsseldorf.
May 4, 2012
The Otto Hahn Medal is intended to motivate especially gifted junior scientists and researchers to pursue a future university or research career. Otto Hahn, the German chemist and Nobel Prize laureate, was the first president of the Max Planck Society from 1948 to 1960. More than 800 scientists have already been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal, which comes with a monetary sum as recognition and is presented during the general meeting of the Max Planck Society in the following year. In May 2011, Eva Reinisch of MPI's Adaptive Listening group also received the Otto Hahn Medal.
For Matthias Sjerps, currently a Postdoc in MPI's Psychology of Language Department, the prize was totally unexpected. "It was a surprise to me that I received the medal," he says. "I was not even aware that my supervisors [Anne Cutler, Holger Mitterer and James McQueen, ed.] had nominated me in the first place! I am obviously very happy with the prize, because an award like this could make a difference for future steps in my career."
Sjerps is currently working on the allocation of cognitive resources in dialogue. A central question in this research is: why does turn-taking proceed relatively smoothly most of the time?
"I hope to uncover how participants dynamically allocate their resources during turn-taking," he says on his personal page.
See also MPI's news item about Matthias Sjerps' PhD defence.