A short personal report on AIECS August 30- September 1, 2010 in Graz, Austria#

By Hermann Maurer

This meeting was organized jointly by the two section chairs Don Dingwell from Earth&Cosmisc Sciences and Hermann Maurer form Informatics. For complete program and some PPTs and Videos see separate entries.

Day 1: August 30#

Members of the Informatics Section met in the afternoon together with some of the editors of J.UCS to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Concerning the section, the new section committee (see Acad_Main/Sections/Informatics) was introduced and Krzysztof Apt announced that he would try to organize a 1-2 day Informatics conference parallel to the Annual Meeting in Paris Sept. 19-22, 2011. (In the meantime, it seems that Gerold Gelenbe and Luc Steels will collaborate on this with Krzysztof ).

Concerning J.UCS it was announced that J.UCS would continue “as usual” with two changes:
(a)Hermann Maurer would step down as Managing Editor in Chief in end of 2011, or at least a second person would join Hermann in this task.
(b) UNIMAS announced that the printed volume for 2009 would be ready by end of November, and a sophisticated submission system also before the end of the year 2010.

The evening ended with an informal dinner where Earth&Cosmic Science and Informatics members mixed for the first time, and found much of common interest.

Day 2: August 31#

This was the main day of the meting, with some 95 registrants. Again, the full program is described elsewhere. However to briefly summarize, after two keynote speakers (one from each section) we had 25 talks, always 3 in parallel, one typical for each section and one trying to bridge the two sections.

I believe the general consensus was that the talks where of unusual high quality, and the conference venue plus hot buffet lunch and refeshments in the breaks worked out well. Some pictures of the speakers and attendees can be seen separately.

After the last talk everyone hurried to the city hall, where Dr. Peter Piffl-Percevic welcomed attendees and their partners in his usual both interesting and refreshing style: participants first were allowed to sit in the city’s parliament room and then were treated to a lavish reception in one of the adjoing rooms. I believe the pictures show that everyone enjoyed the event! A great THANK YOU go to Dr. Peter Piffl-Percevic.

Day 3: September 1#

After some of us listened to the interesting opening talk of the I-KNOW conference we boarded a bus to take us a bit South of Graz as shown on the map below.

Geological Excursion guided by Professor Walter Kurz

In fairly recent times (one million years ago :-) ) this area was covered by an extension of the Pannonian Sea. It was first a kind of swamp, but more and more flooded resulting in the petrification of trees and in a rich area for fossils of fish, all kind of shells, etc. We saw the first hints of this in a still active clay-quarry at Mataschen, where sediment layers and the whole geological history of the area was explained to us by Professor Walter Kurz from the University of Graz.

Pannonian sea extending into Styria

Mataschen Quarry

Reconstruction of Swamp by Morris

Flooded Swamp-new animals move in

Fish in flooded swamp

Leaf in Sediment

Leaf imprint on stone

Petrified tree

Here it is clear how large the petrified tree is

Descriptions of some fossils


1... Vertebrae of a giant gecko Andrias

2... Shell of Lymnocardum

3... Skelleton of a fish Morone

4... Leaf of the bush Myrica


5... Shell of the seaturtle Clemmydopis

6... Fruit of a waterchestnut tree Trapa

7... Lower jawbone of the beaver Trogontherium

8... Twigs of a water-fur tree Glyptostrobus

There where two major phases of volcanic activities in the last 4 million years. Those underwater volcanic eruptions created huge amounts of gasses, ripping with them all kinds of material form various layers, from 40 km deep, to just a few km deep: some of this is found in the form of rocks with a varied composition, expertly explained to us by Walter. Also, 30 volcanic hills, all still visible, but some already quite a bit eroded were created. Some with strong basalt stones remained and forticifcations were alter built on them, defending Christian Austria against some 40 incursions of the Osman Empire, some not with the intention to occupying the area, but rather just for looting. (This is also why Graz was so heavily fortified till the decisive battles against the Osman Empire in 1682 an 1683) . We visited and had lunch in one of the castles Kapfenstein on a hill that is due to one such volcanic eruption.

Here is a short history of that castle: Kapfenstein Castle in the municipality of Kapfenstein, district of Feldbach, Styria. Built in the second half of the 12th century as an important frontier post, it became a Kreidfeuer (signal fire) station in the 16th century. Medieval building around the inner courtyard, extended around 1604 by building over the old castle moat around the outer courtyard. The southern part of the new structure dates from the first half of the 19th century. The castle chapel now serves as parish church.

We also stopped at Riegersburg, the most impressive “six-gated fortification” in Southern Styria sitting on a long extinct volcano, i.e. a huge basalt rock.

Belwo are two pictures of Riegersburg. The first is in high resolution and can be enlarged quite a bit (click, click again on "Original Size", now click where you want to see details), the second can also be enlarged a bit.

Riegersburg with its walls
Riegersburg with its walls

Riegersburg close up
Riegersburg close up

Short history of Riegersburg: Riegersburg Castle, Styria, district of Feldbach; in the 16th century the castles of Liechteneck and Kronegg, which had been built on a 100-metre-high basalt rock massif in the 13th century (documented mention after 1122), were rebuilt to become the most important Styrian frontier fortress with 11 bastions and six gates. Begun after 1571, the building process was continued in the 17th century (by Elisabeth von Galler and Count J. E. Purgstall). The castle of Kronegg is arranged around two courtyards, one courtyard has a pergola and a wrought-iron fountain (1640). Sumptuous interiors; Rittersaal (knight´s hall, around 1600) with coffered ceiling; white room (1658) with stuccowork. Several richly decorated rooms dating from the 16th and 17th centuries; late Gothic chapel (15th century) with frescoes. Since 1822 property of the Prince of Liechtenstein; severely damaged in 1945, renovated between 1950 and 1969.

With a drink of local wine the excursion finished. It may well have been nothing that special for the Earth&Cosmic Science group, but it was certainly an eye-opener for all of us from Informatics!

My thanks go to the speakers, the attendees, the many helpers from Graz University of Technology, our photographer Nina Krok, Anke Beckmann for helping in the coordination with I-KNOW, to the president of Graz University of Technology (who chaired a session, gave a talk and is lending his continued support to this server ), but also to the city of Graz for the reception, and the government of the province of Styria and the Federal Ministry of Science and Research for their financial support.

Hermann Maurer, Graz, September 2010

Imprint Privacy policy « This page (revision-23) was last changed on Saturday, 30. May 2020, 16:54 by AcadAdmin
  • operated by