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"Let the luck of chance be on your side!" Graduation ceremony 2021

2021-11-23 The graduation ceremony took place in a festive atmosphere in the Central Building on 20 November 2021. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the graduates could celebrate their graduation in presence. In total, around 1200 graduates from the College, Graduate School and Professional School were said goodbye.

[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Jan Geisler
[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Jan Geisler
[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Jan Geisler

"What you see on your smartphone, on your computer, in social media, on websites, in apps, is increasingly highly selected," said President Sascha Spoun in his speech. In this way, digitality leads us to focus our attention only on what is as similar as possible to what we know. The new, the different and the foreign are thus filtered out. The university, on the other hand, wanted and wants to achieve exactly the opposite: "Here, it was about stimulating your thinking through the unknown, the unbelievable, the difficult to understand, the misleading, through controversy and the most diverse points of view, through criticism and also through freedom, which allowed you to decide for yourself what you were interested in. President Spoun cited Apple founder Steve Jobs as an example, the "computer nerd" who wanted to take nothing but mathematics and computer science courses during his studies. Jobs, however, was forced by his university framework to also deal with extracurriculars and therefore took a course in calligraphy. As he later reported again and again, it was this course that opened up the value of aesthetics to him, a value that then became so formative for Apple's success. "It is therefore up to you to freely draw your attention to what is not obvious, what just comes along by chance, and that is just not going to happen on your screen, where chance is visibly being eliminated."

Spoun pointed out that you can go to the university library, for example, and while you are walking among the shelves, you happen to discover a new, surprising book. This kind of "serendipity" hardly exists in the digital space. "Help the luck of chance by being curious, thirsty for knowledge, by looking at what you don't understand, seems off, irrelevant or meaningless at first!"

"It will depend on you!", the President encouraged the graduates. Future research suggests that due to filter bubble effects, attention to the "new, unexpected and irritating" will increasingly decrease. "So continue where you left off in your studies, let yourself be guided by interests and happy coincidences and not by algorithms! It is the luck of chance that opens up perspectives for you and thus also opportunities. We usually find solutions to problems where we didn't suspect them. All the great inventions came about by chance, unexpectedly.

[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
[Translate to Englisch:] Graduiertenfeier 2021 ©Jan Geisler

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  • Jan Geisler