The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Economics professor wins prestigious German award

SMU economics professor Shlomo Weber, a world-renowned expert in game theory and globalization economics, has been selected to receive the prestigious Humboldt Prize for Foreign Scholars in the Humanities.

Weber will receive the Humboldt Prize in Berlin, Germany at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting in June. The prize will enable him to continue important research related to enlargement of the European Union in 2004.

Awarded each year, the prize honors scholars living outside of Germany whose academic achievements have earned them an international reputation. The recipients must be nominated by leading scholars or research institutions in Germany.

Weber’s chosen research project relates to the economic and political aspects of the enlargement of the European Union next year, when its membership is expected to increase from 15 to 25 members.

According to an SMU press release, in 2002, the French newspaper Le Monde published an article on joint research by Weber and Victor Ginsburgh, a colleague at the University of Brussels, on the difficult decisions concerning language policy facing the European Union after its enlargement. With the addition of 10 new states, the number of languages used by EU members will rise from 11 to 21, radically increasing the number and cost of interpreters needed for meetings.

The two researchers found that among current members, English is employed as a first, second or third language by the largest number (208 million), followed by French (127 million), German (118 million), Italian (65 million), Spanish (56 million) and Dutch (24 million). Weber and Ginsburgh point out that a larger proportion of the 10 applicant countries use German, which could make it the second working language of the union.

Weber will pursue his research in Dresden from May through August 2003. During this period he also will give lectures at universities and international meetings in Bonn, Brussels, Berlin, Moscow and other sites. As the Humboldt Prize winner, he will return to Germany for further research and lectures from January through March 2004.

Weber has also published analyses of NATO, the European Union and European Monetary Union, as well as numerous theoretical articles in this subject area for many years.

Weber, who came to SMU in 1993, is now the director of the Richard B. Johnson Center for Economic Studies, the trustee for the Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Foundation and a professor of economics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Moscow State University and a Ph.D. in mathematical economics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The Humboldt Foundation, one of the oldest foundations in Germany, was established in 1860 in Berlin in honor of Alexander von Humboldt, a great explorer. Its aim was to sponsor research and travel abroad by German scholars. After the collapse of the German Reich in 1945, the foundation had to cease its activities.

At the suggestion of former Humboldt guest-researchers, the foundation was re-established by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1953 with its headquarters in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. It hopes to promote an active world-wide network of scholars.

According to the foundation’s Web site, more than 20,000 scholars from 125 countries have been sponsored to date.

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