Borner honored by German Humboldt Foundation

Katy Borner
Katy Borner


Katy Börner, a distinguished professor of engineering and information science at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, has been honored with the Humboldt Research Award which is given annually by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for lifetime achievement.

The award is granted in recognition of a researcher’s lifetime work whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have made a significant impact on their own discipline. Recipients are expected to continue to produce cutting-edge achievements in the future. Award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. Awardees also have the opportunity to host and mentor other Humboldt Research Award winners in the future.

Börner’s research focuses on information visualization, specifically the modeling and visualization of developments in science, technology, and education. She is a curator of the international Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit, which brings displays of large-format science maps and interactive data visualizations to public places around the globe.

“I am honored to join the network of Humboldtians that connects internationally renowned scientists and scholars throughout the world,” Börner said. “The award will make it possible to introduce methods, tools, and education materials my team developed over the last 19 years at IU to my home country.”

“Katy certainly is deserving of this prestigious award, and we’re all proud of her dedication, work, and vision for her research,” said Raj Acharya, dean of SICE. “The Humboldt Research Award is simply tangible evidence of something we’ve long known about Katy’s work: It’s making an impact on a global scale. Her influence and that of the rest of our world-class faculty are at the heart of the innovative spirit of SICE.”

Börner will collaborate with colleagues at the Technische Universität Dresden—her host institution. There are research seminars, summer courses, and student exchanges planned to create strong bridges between IU and German universities.

“Data visualization literacy becomes ever more important for understanding and managing the world in which we live,” Börner said. “I look forward to empowering more scholars, practitioners, and leaders to perform data-driven decision making in their personal and professional lives.”

Börner earned her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Kaiserslautern in 1997, and she arrived at IU as a visiting assistant professor at the then-School of Library and Information Science in 1998. She became the Victor H. Yngve professor in 2009 and was named a distinguished professor of SICE in 2016. She’s the founding director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center at IU and is an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

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