Nihat Ay

Professor & MLE-Sprecher

TUHH Institut für Data Science Foundations

Nihat Ay studied mathematics and physics at the Ruhr University Bochum and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the Leipzig University in 2001. In 2003 and 2004, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and at the Redwood Neuroscience Institute (now the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley). After his postdoctoral stay in the USA, he was a scientific member of the Mathematical Institute of the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen. From 2005 to 2021, he worked as a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig where he was heading the group Information Theory of Cognitive Systems. As external professor of the Santa Fe Institute he is involved in research on complexity and robustness theory. He is also affiliated with the Leipzig University as an honorary professor for information geometry. Nihat Ay has co-authored a comprehensive mathematics book and written numerous articles on this subject. Furthermore, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Information Geometry. In 2021, he joined the Hamburg University of Technology as a professor and the head of the newly founded Institute for Data Science Foundations.


  • Informationsgeometrie
  • Mathematische Lerntheorie im Kontext neuronaler Netze, kognitiver Systeme und Robotik
  • Maschinelles Lernen
  • Graphische Modelle und ihre Anwendung in der Kausalitätstheorie
  • Komplexitäts- und Informationstheorie


  • Professor & Leiter des Instituts für Data Science Foundations, 2021 - heute

    Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH)

  • Leiter der Forschungsgruppe "Informationstheorie Kognitiver Systeme", 2005 - 2021

    Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften, Leipzig

  • Honorarprofessor für Informationsgeometrie, 2013 - heute

    Universität Leipzig

  • Habilitation, 2009

    Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

  • Externer Professor, 2005 - heute

    Santa Fe Institut

  • PostDoc, 2003 - 2004

    Santa Fe Institut & Redwood Neuroscience Institut, USA

  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, 2003 - 2005

    Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

  • Dr. rer. nat., 2001

    Universität Leipzig

  • Doktorand, 1997 - 2000

    Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften, Leipzig

  • Diplom im Fach Mathematik, 1996

    Ruhr-Universität Bochum