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Douglas R. Hofstadter is Albertus Magnus Professor 2018

From 18 to 20 June, Hofstadter will hold two lectures and one seminar on translations in the age of computers, focusing on the relationship between human and machine translation.

The American intellectual Douglas R. Hofstadter could best be described as a polymath. The director of the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, sees himself as a mediator between the natural sciences and the arts and humanities – between physics, mathematics and computer sciences on the one hand and musicology, linguistics and literary studies on the other. In all of his academic endeavours, he strives to better understand the human mind in all its facets.

In his most recent book, Hofstadter explores analogies in human thinking. In the past, he has also translated several books into English, including Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. Furthermore, he is a theorist of translation: in the two public lectures he will hold as Albertus Magnus Professor in Cologne, he will speak about human translation and machine translation.

Public Lectures
Monday, 18 May 2018, 7:30 pm
‘Reflections on Machine Translation?’ (first lecture)
Auditorium (Aula), UoC Main Building, Albertus Magnus Platz

Tuesday, 19 June 2018, 7:30 pm
‘Reflections on Human Translation’ (second lecture)
Auditorium (Aula), UoC Main Building, Albertus Magnus Platz

The lectures will be held in English.

In addition, Douglas R. Hofstadter will hold a public seminar on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 12:00 am in the conference room (Tagungsraum) of the Seminar Building. To take part in the seminar, please register under
In the 1980s, Hofstadter won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for his book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which was also translated into several languages. For his efforts to convey academic knowledge to a broader audience, five Max Planck Institutes in the city of Göttingen awarded him the Science Communication Medal in 2017.

After scholars such as Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Bruno Latour, John Searle and Martha Nussbaum, the University of Cologne is proud to again welcome a scholar of international renown as Albertus Magnus Professor. The professorship was created in 2005 in honour of the medieval polymath Albertus Magnus (ca. 1200 to 1280), who served as provincial of the Dominican Order in Cologne. Albertus Magnus is also considered one of the spiritual fathers of the old University, which was founded in 1388.

Media Enquiries:    
Professor Andreas Speer
Thomas Institute at the University of Cologne
+49 221 470 2309

Press and Communications Team:
Eva Schissler
+49 221 470-4030
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