Tinggui Zhang and Damián Blasi, both former Ph.D. students of Jürgen Jost, have been awarded the "South China Sea Masters " youth project funding and the Robert J. Glushko dissertation prizes in cognitive science, respectively.
Tinggui Zhang studied quantum information and computation as a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Xianqing Li-Jost and Jürgen Jost from August 2010 until July 2014, when he obtained his doctorate. Afterwards he returned to China and worked in Hainan Normal University. The "South China Sea Masters" youth project focuses on the selection and training of a group of young talents with strong scientific research abilities, innovative spirits and great potential. Tinggui Zhang is the only candidate from mathematics in this project. He will be awarded 300,000 RMB (~39,000 €) and the title of top talent in Hainan Province.
Damián Blasi originally studied physics in Argentina and after coming to Leipzig was simultaneously affiliated to both our institute and the department of linguistics at the MPI for evolutionary anthropology from July 2012 until August 2015. Damián received a Ph.D. in computer sciences for his dissertation on "Linguistic Diversity Through Data". This outstanding thesis has earned him the $10,000 (~9,200 €) award by the Cognitive Science Society and the Glushko-Samuelson Foundation, which is an annual honor for five young scientists that conduct ground-breaking research in the cognitive sciences. Consistent with their vision that "that understanding how minds work will require the synthesis of many different empirical methods" a dissertation has to transcend any one of the individual fields comprising cognitive science in order to be considered for the honor. After his postdoc at the university of Zürich, Switzerland, he is now the current Maury Green Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, as well as being affiliated to the Department of linguistic and cultural evolution at the MPI for the science of human history in Jena.