Anders Møller is trying to do the impossible – and now he’s been awarded 1.2 million kroner to keep at it

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Anders Møller, professor of computer science at Aarhus University, won an Elite Research Prize and 1.2 million kroner for his program analysis research last week.

2020.03.02 | Marie Groth Andersen

Anders Møller, professor of computer science at Aarhus University, won an Elite Research Prize and 1.2 million kroner for his program analysis research last week. Photo: Søren Kjeldgaard

The Elite Research Prize 2020: Five researchers awarded

  • Sine Reker Hadrup, professor, from the Technical University of Denmark
  • Mads Meier Jæger, professor, from the University of Copenhagen
  • Anders Møller, professor, from Aarhus University
  • Tobias Richter, associate professor, from the University of Copenhagen
  • Riikka Rinnan, professor, from the University of Copenhagen

44-year-old computer science professor Anders Møller received an Elite Research Prize last week. The AU professor won the award for his research on programming languages and program analysis, which involves exploring methods of analyzing and finding errors in programs before anyone starts using them.

Since the 1930s, when it was proven by Alan Turing, we’ve known known that perfect program analyses are a mathematical impossibility. 

But as Anders Møller explains in the press release about the award, “This doesn’t prevent us from making approximations that allow us to find as many errors as possible as quickly as possible.” 

And IT leviathans like Google, Facebook and Microsoft use program analysis to find errors in their programs.

Errors don’t just represent a potential security risk, for example in relation to hacking. They can also cost a lot of resources, for example when an error makes a computer program crash.

Researchers from UCPH, AU and DTU honored

Five Elite Research Prizes were awarded last week. Each recipient was given a cash award of 1.2 million kroner. DKK 1 million is earmarked for research activities while DKK 200,000 goes to the researcher personally. The Elite Research Prize is awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, and it was conferred by HRH Crown Princess Mary and Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, minister for higher education and science. Besides Anders Møller, Elite Research Prizes went to three researchers from the University of Copenhagen and one from the Technical University of Denmark. 

Travel grants for PhD students

The ministry also awarded 20 Elite Research Prize travel grants of 200,000 to PhD students. Three PhD students from AU received Elite Research Prize travel grants Nis Langer Primdahl (DPU), Signe Mosegaard (Department of Clinical Medicine) and Johan Gøtzsche-Astrup (Department of Political Science).

Translated by Lenore Messick

The Elite Research Prize 2020: Five researchers awarded

  • Sine Reker Hadrup, professor, from the Technical University of Denmark
  • Mads Meier Jæger, professor, from the University of Copenhagen
  • Anders Møller, professor, from Aarhus University
  • Tobias Richter, associate professor, from the University of Copenhagen
  • Riikka Rinnan, professor, from the University of Copenhagen
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