Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI


International Women in Science Day: What excites HPI women scientists about their research

With the International Women and Girls in Science Day on February 11, organizations and institutions draw attention to the crucial role that girls and women play in science and technology every year. HPI also advocates for women and girls in computer science with offerings such as travel scholarships for women computer science students and Girls' Day.

Despite the shortage of skilled workers, women are still underrepresented in technology and engineering. To draw attention to their essential role in science and technology, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly launched the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on December 22, 2015, which has been celebrated every year since then on February 11.

Women such as Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace have had a decisive impact on computer science. Without them, the world of IT would look very different today. At HPI, women scientists are researching solutions every day to drive digitization forward successfully. We would like to introduce you to some of them:

Dr. Henrike Heyne

Dr. Henrike Heyne has been working as a senior researcher and group leader at the Digital Health - Personalized Medicine research group at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger since 2021. With her research, the medical doctor aims to better understand diseases such as epilepsy using genomic and health data. Recently, her study "Mono- and biallelic variant effects on disease at biobank scale" was published in the internationally renowned scientific journal Nature.

Henrike Heyne: "With my research group, I am investigating how our genetic makeup influences diseases, especially epilepsy. I'm excited that we can potentially alleviate or prevent human suffering with our research."

Kristina Kirsten

Kristina Kirsten has been a research associate and doctoral student at the Digital Health - Connected Healthcare research group of Prof. Dr. Bert Arnrich since April 2019. There, she researches topics including mental health and human activity recognition using wearables. For example, how sensors in smartwatches or other digital everyday objects can help detect obsessive-compulsive disorders at an early stage.

Kristina Kirsten: "I'm researching activity recognition using wearable sensors for the use case of mental illness. It’s exciting to be able to make a difference in such an important topic."

Hanadi Traifeh

At Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel's Internet Technologies and Systems research group, Hanadi Traifeh conducts research as a senior researcher in design thinking. Her primary research interests include the digital transformation of education, learner-centered educational design, and the effective use of design thinking in education. She is also passionate about gender equality in education and entrepreneurship.

Hanadi Traifeh: "Design Thinking as a human-centered approach to innovation and a process to solve complex challenges has been applied in almost all areas of research. This  makes it exciting and always motivating to teach, investigate and explore further."

With its diverse offerings, HPI actively advocates for girls and women who are enthusiastic about IT and supports them on their career paths.

This year, for example, HPI is once again awarding twelve exciting travel scholarships to dedicated women  computer science students from all over Germany. In addition to a trip to the European Women in Technology Conference in Amsterdam, the scholarship includes participation in a "Women in Tech" networking day in Potsdam. Applications for a travel scholarship are open until April 1, 2023. To apply, , students are asked to submit a curriculum vitae, an overview of grades,  as well as a letter of motivation. All details can be found here.

At the nationwide Girls' Day on April 27, 2023,  girls from grade 7 on, who are interested in IT, have the opportunity to learn about the world of computer science in a fun way. fully. At HPI, participants  will learn how to program a minicomputer themselves and teach it commands, and gain insights into the diverse range of computer science studies at HPI. More info. is available here.