Category Archives: Uni

Brandenburg parliament closes two universities, founds a new one, without real reason or vision

Protestschild Demokatie

Today, Brandenburg's state parliament has passed a law to close the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus and the University for Applied Sciences Lausitz and to found a new Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg on 1 July. This happens after almost one year of so-called “discussions” which never addressed reasons, costs and benefits of the whole […]

Alumni statements on the BTU Cottbus


In the light of the plans of the ministry of science, research and culture to close the universities in the Lausitz and found a new one, and to counter the negative picture painted by the media, statements of BTU alumni have been collected on the Mittelbau wiki. However, these statements are all in German, as […]

Is the state government sincere in its endeavors to improve the situation of the universities in the Lausitz?

Vor Beginn der Podiumsdiskussion im Audimax der BTU.


Buzzword Bingo

MWFK-Bingo (Vorschaubild)

Prolonged exposition to Mrs Kunst's (and others') drivel causes massive de-braining. Humour seems the only way to counteract the MWFK's phrase-making facility. Thus, and in preparation for next week's public debate, I have prepared a Buzzword Bingo card: Update 23.03.12: Now, I've set up a generator that produces always fresh bingo cards. For printing, there's […]

New blog on university politics

Since a few days, there's another personal blog by a BTU researcher about the current university politics and Mrs Kunst's (and the ministry's) structure plans: However, is in German only. Until now, it contains two critical articles (about too-fast implementation and about Mrs Kunst's math skills), but I hope he/she will write more! Update: […]

Demonstration and City Parliament meeting – a first summary

Hochschuldemo 19.03.12 – der Mob ;-)

I was surprised and delighted by how many people met for today's demonstration. At about 4pm, we gathered at BTU's Forum and then walked through town. The destination was the Stadthaus on Altmarkt, where the City Parliament (Stadtverordnetenversammlung, SVV) met for a special session on the future of the universities in the Lusatia region. There, […]

Minutes of the meeting of the Parliament's Comittee on Science, Research and Culture

Again, if you're interested in a translation, tell me.

Honorary salary

Basiert auf Lightning-Icon von brsev (, CC-by-nc

Now, Mr Wulff, the just-in-time retired Federal President, has been granted the honorary salary (“Ehrensold”, currently 199000€ ≈ $265000 plus office and a car with driver). How very fitting that this is decided by the Office of the Federal President, the head of which has been appointed by Wulff himself. (Sorry, the newspaper articles are […]

Brandenburg's university budget will shrink

Brandenburg's unviersities will get less money in the next years, despite a slight increase in the ministry's budget. That's because pension and other costs will rise even more. That's a rather dark perspective, especially for the universities here in Lusatia (BTU and HL) which the ministry wants to merge. Again, if you're interested in a […]

Is research at the BTU Cottbus really that bad?

Given the current financial situation: no. 😉 This post in German is about recent discussions on the two universities in the Cottbus area, and their possible merger. Media frequently say the BTU's research performance is abysmal, which is has a grain of salt to it, but is mainly an exaggerated, out-of-context opinon of a recent […]

Corundum fibre materials

A company, the name of which I withhold because of the ongoing innovative product development, is currently testing their new product “corundum rapid abrasion paper” (c.r.a.p.) at our university. This paper has several special properties: The fabric can be produced to be equivalent to sand paper grit sizes of >120, but is considerably thinner. Thus, […]

Central Intelligence and Media Centre?

Skulptur „Kryptos“ (CIA Headquaters, Langley, VA). Quelle: Jim Gillogly

Recently, I browsed the archive of Mathlog and found a nice article about the still not completely solved cryptographic puzzle sculpture “Kryptos” (sorry, German only; you may find more info on Wikipedia).

Practical courses for students of secondary school

Logo Forschungs-Bildungs-Kooperation Cottbus (FBK)

This month's Accretionary Wedge (hosted by Magma Cum Laude) is about earth science outreach, so I'd like to write a bit about the practical courses our university (BTU – Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus) provides for secondary school students in 11th and 12th grade. Our department (Environmental Geology) offers such practicals since 2007, but […]

Great blackboard art

What else to say besides being green with envy? Hat tip to Diax's Rake (

The horror! The horror!

The dreaded day has come. Yesterday was our secretary's last day at work. I dare not think about how things may turn out in the future.

Slightly disconcerting anniversary

The day before yesterday it has been 12 years since I've come to Cottbus. That means that I'm here for more than a third of my life. Back then, I definitly wouldn't have expected this.