Jörg Schleicher

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Jörg Schleicher
Jorg Schleicher headshot.jpg

Jörg Schleicher is Professor for Applied Mathematics, IMECC, Unicamp Seismics.

Biography Citation for the J. Clarence Karcher Award 1998

Contributed by Peter Hubral

The other day, one of my best students complained to me for using too much math in my geophysics lectures. I told him, if anyone can be blamed for this it is the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who introduced "logical reasoning" into science. It is Galileo Galilei, who claimed, "the book of nature is written in the language of math" and the French philosopher-scientist Descartes, who said, "the key to the universe is in its mathematical structure." Then he asked, "And who guarantees that logic and math are the right tools to unravel nature's secrets?" I replied that if he wanted to become a good scientist, he should better not ask such a provocative question. I told him, however, that he should not waste any time thinking about it because Descartes had already asked the same question 400 years ago and concluded that it is God who gives this guarantee. The poor chap left us full of faith that he would discover the secrets of this universe in a Himalayan monastery.

What happened to him could not have happened to Jörg Schleicher. In fact, these godfathers of science would be absolutely delighted about Jörg's keen interest in math and about his Aristotelian logical reasoning. They would value his humanistic education and his multilingual capabilities and maybe even his dry sense of humor. They would fully approve of often finding him absent-mindedly, full of Cartesian faith, writing some geophysical discoveries into Galileo's book of nature.

In particular, Descartes would be impressed by Jörg's dedication to the two Cartesian inventions: analytic geometry as well as the Snellius-Descartes law. Both topics form nowadays the heart of a very sophisticated seismic ray theory to which Jörg has significantly contributed. Without his capabilities in this area it would have been difficult to solve some key problems in true-amplitude reflection imaging, seismic modeling, inversion, DMO, AVO, data mapping, seismic resolution, etc. At his young age of 34 Jörg is not only author or coauthor of more than 20 peer-reviewed papers (about half of them in Geophysics), but he has also already secured a permanent staff position in applied math at Campinas University, Brazil. Moreover, he is now rightfully recognized with the J. C. Karcher Award for young scientists. Congratulations, JörgSHerzlichen GlückwunschSParabens.

After completing his Ph.D. in 1993 at Karlsruhe University and managing there various seismic research projects thereafter, Jörg accepted an offer from our common friend Martin Tygel to come to Campinas as a post-doc in 1995. His stay there was supported by two prestigious institutions: the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Brazilian Scientific and Technological Council. It is, however, not only the attractive research he is now doing with Martin and his other bright colleagues that keeps Jörg in Brazil. Last year he married Amelia, an amicable Ph.D. student of the same fine geophysical group at Campinas.

Jörg maintains strong ties with Europe and its culture. One indication that he is frequently dropping by is the fact that he keeps his bicycle stored at our institute. The latest news ticker has revealed that he acquired two pedigree Swiss St. Bernard dogs, fully attentive to their master's voice. Jörg also enthusiastically plays table tennis with a high professional standard to compensate his brainy activities. What he will probably miss most after an exhausting game in the heat of Brazil is to dive into a cool lake on the Scandinavian island of Bornholm, where he used to spend so many European summer vacations.

My God, I almost forgot the most important item. Jörg is of course a proud founding member of the international Wave Inversion Technology (WIT) Consortium established at Karlsruhe in 1997, where his wit is invaluable to WIT's success.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1996

Peter Hubral, Jörg Schleicher, and Martin Tygel received Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper A unified approach to 3-D seismic reflection imaging, Part I: Basic concepts.[1]


  1. Hubral, P., J. Schleicher, and M. Tygel (1996) A unified approach to 3-D seismic reflection imaging, Part I: Basic concepts, GEOPHYSICS62(1):97.