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December 2010




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From the editor

The year is rapidly coming to an end, and I am sure I am not the only one who is quite busy.  So our final newsletter of 2010 will be a little light on events – but not light on content!

First and most importantly, please subscribe our new YCG facebook group, and go ahead and fill it with life!

David Ilten and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the AYA Assembly in New Haven in November.  Make sure to check out David’s summary below.

The Whiffenpoofs will be touring Europe next summer.  Details below.

Contributions to the YCG are still welcome – please consider making YCG part of your giving budget this year (German tax deductible!).  It’s not as difficult as it sounds, as you will see at the very bottom of the newsletter.

And finally a friendly pragmatic reminder: Admissions season is in full swing – please consider supporting the Alumni Schools Committee by interviewing a prospective student.  Details below.

On a personal note: Yale beat Princeton 14 – 13 in beautiful fall weather in the Yale Bowl.  Somehow I always get lucky with the weather when attending Yale football games. As for the other game this year… never mind.

From Stuttgart with lots of Yale spirit,

Lutz Berners BK’99








Upcoming dates & events

YCG Stammtisch

December 17: Stammtisch in Frankfurt


Friday December 17




Fidelio Weinkeller (across the street from Alte Oper)


no reservation is needed – Laura Sprague















YCG News


Yale Club of Germany News

In order to reach out to more potential members who may be off our radar screen, we have set up the YCG facebook group.  Any member can join the group via facebook and post events there.  We encourage you to use it to network with other Yalies in Germany and to post your events there.  Our traditional e-mail Newsletter will continue.  At the same time, we hope that the facebook group will foster more spontaneous interaction between our members.  We have already had posts regarding various events in Berlin and Frankfurt.  But we also want to get other places going – it only takes a minute to post an event, and even in smaller cities one or two Yalies may show up.  In other words: post, post, post…!


At the November AYA Assembly, David Ilten SY’60 represented YCG together with myself, and Alexander Mogg SOM’96 participated as the SOM representative.  The weekend was extremely interesting and inspiring.  We will get going early next year with putting some ideas into action here at YCG.  David Ilten shares his perspective on the event from a YCG point of view:


“As always, a high joint of the New Haven weekend was the “moderately cheerful hour” of Howard Stern in the German department. This brought us great wines and waters, cheeses and meats and especially Howard's own special corned beef.  But, best of all was Howard's poetry reading --  first in German and then his English translation of the text.  About 35 people had enjoyed the evening by the time I left.  Both Lutz and Jonas [editor’s note: our lone German freshman this year] were there, as well as people from numerous faculties.

The AYA meeting itself was during Princeton Weekend, with Yale winning 14 to 13.  The 200th Anniversary of the Medical School was celebrated with lectures, tours and small group discussions of research and new treatment methods. The wonderful possibilities of the West Campus were also discussed.

The second day concerned Yale and service.  David Ilten is Director for Europe for the Yale Day of Service.  As in the past we will try to work with Schloss Wartin and also reading to children.”


My own take, as a first-time attendee, is that the Assembly reminded me of the very special place that Yale is, and of the great people (minds and hearts) that surround us as members of the community.  The AYA also made it quite clear that with the great privilege of a Yale education, there comes the obligation to contribute to society. Paraphrasing AYA Executive Director Mark Dollhopf: Each of us should ask themselves: How does the place that we live in become better because Yale alumni live there?  This is the challenge he put before us.  So… 2011 will see increased Yale Day of Service activities in Germany.  Anyone with ideas, please contact Yale Day of Service Europe Coordinator David Ilten SY’60.


Our almighty crystal ball foresees the arrival of the Whiffenpoofs in Europe in the summer of 2011.  Writes Whiffenpoofs Tour Manager Matthew Kroon: “Each year, the Whiffenpoofs embark on a three-month-long journey around the world, and we would love to work with the Yale Club of Germany on the European leg of our tour.  We believe a collaboration has the potential to further the interests of Yale and its alumni abroad.  The Whiffenpoofs will be in Germany from July 29th until August 5th, 2011, but the dates of our visit are subject to change, so be sure to let us know if your schedule is better served by other dates.”  Schloss Wartin is under consideration for a performance.  Please contact David Ilten SY’60 if you have additional ideas for performance locations.


Recent Events


The following events with participation of YCG or individual friends of Yale took place in the past months:


YCG Stammtisch, Frankfurt – September and October


Yale College admissions office Europe tour with special guest Rebekah Westphal – in Frankfurt and Berlin


And two updates from Berlin:


Ashok Chandrasekhar (PC '85) and Desiree Baron (Northwestern '86) hosted a delightful House (Warming) Concert for family, friends, colleagues and the Yale Club early December in snowy Berlin. She, on the violin, and he, on a Steinway piano, warmed us by playing Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata, Brahms's Second Violin Sonata, and a nice Liebesleid by Kreisler, to applause and with encore. They were heartily welcomed to their new home in Berlin and graciously offered the possibility of hosting Yale Club evening conversations in the future.


David MacBryde (BK '64) reports that so far in this season the Alumni School Committee in Germany has received 15 student applications for Yale College, and expects more. If any Yale graduates, especially any living outside areas where there are other alumni, wish to conduct interviews, please contact him.


New YCG arrivals – Welcome!


Since we started our facebook page, a few dozen new members have joined.  Listing everybody here would go beyond the scope of the newsletter.  So… a communal warm welcome to our newcomers!
















YCG News


Yale in the German News

Editor’s note: Technically, not all of these are media reports – some are blogs or institution websites.  Basically, anything that is interesting and that is published in Germany or in German qualifies.  So please feel free to submit anything that you think will be interesting for our members.



Prof. Benoit Mandelbrot passes away at age 85


Prof. Benoit Mandelbrot, Yale University Sterling Professor, world-renowned mathematician and major contributor to fractal geometry and chaos theory, passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He was one of the pre-eminent figures of 20th century science.  And being an early adopter of do-it-yourself fractal visualisation software myself, I can say with authority that he significantly contributed to the lack of dating success of many of the brightest young minds out there (it is hard to impress a high school date with fractals, no matter how cool).


Source: Augsburger Allgemeine, October 18, 2010 - link to full article



Prof. Dr. Vahid Sandoghdar PhD ’93 receives Germany’s highest international research prize


Prof. Sandoghdar received an Alexander-von-Humboldt professorship this year for his work on the physics of light.  The professorship, sponsored by the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation, comes with grants of up to 5 million EUR.  This year, he is in residence at ETH Zürich.  His permanent affiliation is with Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). While the head of FAU was thrilled about this (see article), rumors of a ticker tape parade taking place in Erlangen have been found to be unsubstantiated.


Source: Informationsdienst Wissenschaft, October 13, 2010 – link to full article



Yale researchers find depression gene


In a major breakthrough, Yale researchers identified a gene that is probably responsible for triggering depression.  The findings are based on a comparison of 21 depressive with 18 non-depressive persons.  Animal experiments confirmed the link. 


Source: cecu.de, October 18, 2010 – link to full article



Yale World Fellow calls for innovative approaches to multicultural integration in Germany


Current German Yale World Fellow Mehmet Gülcan Daimagüler outlines some innovative approaches to coping with demographic change in Germany, including new approaches to multicultural integration.


Source: T-Online, October 25, 2010 – link to full article



New lecture series on “Reconfiguring American Politics” starts at Goethe-Universität Bad Homburg


In the opening event of this English-language series, Prof. Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, shared his views in a lecture titled “The Decline and Fall of the American Republic.”  More events will follow.  Maybe there will be some more upbeat ones in the future, too.


Source: idw online, November 15, 2010 – link to full article



Private universities in Germany face uphill battle; general comparison of OECD education systems


Yale is mentioned in passing in these two interesting articles about the private university landscape in Germany and the OECD.  Go Yale!  Then again, makes one think about the future of our society here.


Source 1: FAZ Online, October 2, 2010 – link to full article

Source 2: The European Circle, December 7, 2010 – link to full article



EBS Law School (Wiesbaden) aiming for partnership with Yale


In its attempt to make legal training in Germany more attractive, EBS Law School in Wiesbaden is aiming to set up partnerships with 50-100 foreign law schools, including Yale.  Apparently a large hurdle for these exchange programs, however, is that the German legal system is not as attractive for US students as the anglo-american legal system is for German students.  Very interesting interview with the founding dean of EBS Law School.


Source: LTO Online, September 22, 2010 – link to full article


ICRAC Workshop in Berlin: Yale researcher warns of creeping autonomy of military robots


In an International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) Workshop in Berlin, researchers including Yale Interdisclinary Center for Biothetics lecturer Wendell Wallach discussed the increasing autonomy of military robots.  Human control of robots is eroded slowly but steadily by this development.  Editors’s conclusion: creeeeepy!


Source: heise.de, September 23, 2010 – link to full article





















Yale Club of Germany logo

Yale Club of Germany info

David Ilten (Yale College ’60)
Tel. 069 622680 (Frankfurt)

Treasurer/Alumni Schools Committee
David MacBryde (Yale College ’64)
Tel. 030 8229625 (Berlin)

Laura Sprague Sudhaus
(Yale College ’88)
Tel. 06198 501700 (Eppstein)

Newsletter/Mailing List
Lutz Berners (Yale College ’99)
Tel. 0176 6218 9687 (Stuttgart)

Membership: If you are an alumnus of any Yale school or a friend of Yale, you are automatically considered a member of the Yale Club of Germany. Welcome!

Facebook: Please subscribe to our Yale Club of Germany facebook group for up-to-date event information.

Mailing list: To add your name to the Yale Club’s mailing list, to change your address, or to notify the Club that you’re leaving Germany and should be removed from the list, please click here to let Lutz know. You can also ask them who else is in your area, since they try to keep track of Yalies throughout Germany.

Interviews: The Yale Club is always looking for alumni to interview local high-school students who are applying to Yale College. If you would like to help out or learn more, please click here to e-mail our ASC director, David MacBryde.

Yale Book Award: If you interested in presenting the Yale Book Award at a high school in your area, click here to let David Ilten know.

Yale Club of Germany Prize: We are in the “quiet phase” of a long-term program to raise at least €20,000, with an eventual goal of €100,000, to endow this award for presentation to exceptional high school students in Germany who have been accepted to Yale. If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute to this worthy effort, please click here to let David Ilten know. Meanwhile, thanks to those who have contributed recently!

Contributions: The Club does not assess dues, but asks its members to make an modest annual contribution (€20 suggested, but any amount is welcome) to help fund Club activities such as the Yale Book Award. To contribute, please arrange a bank transfer (Überweisung) to the Yale Club’s account. (For those of you new to Germany, this is the standard method for making payments here — as common in Germany as writing a check in the U.S.) Account details:


Bank (Kreditinstitut des Begünstigten):

Degussa Bank, Frankfurt


Bank Number (Bankleitzahl, or BLZ):



Payee (Begünstigten):

Yale Club e.V.


Payee’s Account Number
(Konto-Nr. des Begünstigten):

22 1278

If you have questions or need a receipt for the Finanzamt, please contact our Treasurer, David MacBryde (contact details above).