Dr. Kobsa's research lies in the areas of modeling and personalized systems, privacy, and information visualization. As part of the award, he will be invited to carry out a research project in Germany for up to one year. He will be studying privacy implications of the usage of radio frequency identification tags (RFID) in the retail industry at Humboldt University in Berlin.
After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1985, he became director of the Institute for Applied Information Technology at the German National Research Center for Information Technology, and a professor of computer science at the University of Essen. He was also an associate professor of information systems at the University of Konstanz and a senior researcher at the University of Saarbrücken. He joined the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2000 and is presently Professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UCI.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, based in Bonn, Germany, grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually to scientists and scholars from abroad with internationally recognized academic qualifications. Furthermore, award winners are invited to carry out research projects of their own choice in Germany in cooperation with colleagues for periods of between six months and one year. The award can amount to a maximum of EUR 75,000. The foundation follows the tradition of the man who gave it its name, the naturalist, world traveler, and scholar, Alexander von Humboldt. Among past winners of this prestigious prize are nearly 40 Nobel Laureates.
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