Press Release 148/2012

40 Years Department of Informatics

The Oldest Department of Informatics in Germany Celebrates Its Anniversary with a Varied Family Program
Seit vier Jahrzehnten arbeitet die Fakultät für Informatik an neuen  Entwicklungen für High-Tech-Wachstumsbranchen. (Abbildung: Birgit Schmidt)
For four decades, the Department of Informatics has been working on new developments for high-tech growth sectors. (Figure: Birgit Schmidt)

In 1972, the then Universität Karlsruhe, today’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), established the Department of Informatics, a unique institution in Germany at that time. To celebrate 40 years of research and education, the Department will present itself with a varied program to the public on Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10 to 16 hrs, at and around the Audimax on KIT Campus South (Straße am Forum 1, building 30.95). Representatives of the media are cordially invited and kindly asked to register using the form enclosed.

At initially four institutes, scientists taught at the computing center of Universität Karlsruhe and conducted research into future innovations. Originally considered an exotic institution, the Department today has nine institutes, 40 professors, more than 300 employees, and about 2400 students and is one of the most versatile and renowned departments of informatics in Germany. Quality of research and education of the Department of Informatics is reflected not only by this year’s Leibniz Prize awarded to Professor Peter Sanders, but also by many successful research projects and excellent ranking results. Highly efficient route planning, humanoid robots, language recognition and translation programs, cognitive automobiles or systems for electrotechnical future, many pioneer findings of informatics come from Karlsruhe. It was here, where the basis was laid for today’s frequently used electronic mail: On August 03, 1984, at 10.14 hrs, the first electronic mail in Germany arrived in the mail boxes of Professor Werner Zorn, head of the informatics computer division, and his staff member Michael Rotert.

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Department will open its doors on the occasion of its 40th anniversary and give the interested public the opportunity to have a look at the complete scope of current research activities by means of demonstrations and exhibits: From the six-leg running robot Lauron to the bingo voting machine for secure elections to the transparent route planner. In addition, the Department will offer guided visits to selected laboratories and institutes, where other informatics projects will be presented, for instance, an autonomous segway at the Research Center for Information Technology or ARMAR, the humanoid robot, at the Institute of Anthropomatics.

Families are invited to attend two lectures at the Audimax, where they will be informed about how secret messages can be encoded and what the future of Facebook and Co. may be like. After this, pupils and persons interested in starting studies will have the opportunity to inform themselves about studies of informatics and information management and to exchange information directly with students. The Palladio bridge that has to be built from wooden bricks as stably and efficiently as possible will teach the children the fundamentals of software architecture or they are invited to build paper models from cards that are generated automatically by a computer program developed by the Department.

Admittance will be free. Food and beverages will be offered on the square in front of the Audimax.

Detailed information:


10 to 16 hrs     Exhibition in the entrance hall of Audimax (building 30.95)
    Exhibits and demonstrations by the research groups

Guided Visits
(Meeting point: Information stand in the entrance hall of the

10.30/13/14.30 hrs     Steinbuch Centre for Computing
10.45/12.45 hrs     Research Center for Information Technology
11/14/15 hrs    Institute for Process Control and Robotics
10/12 hrs    Informatics Information Center
Institute of Anthropomatics; information on guided visits will be given at the Institute
11.30/13.30 hrs    Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technology, and Image Evaluation

Family Lectures and Information on Studies (Audimax)
10.00 hrs     Ciphers and how to decode them and what cryptography can do in addition; Christian Henrich and Daniel Kraschewski (from the age of 6)
11.00 hrs    Facebook & Co. – What does the future bring? Fabian Hartmann (from the age of 10)
14.00 hrs    The informatics and information management programs present themselves, Students Association of Mathematics and Informatics and Forum Informationswirtschaft e.V.

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

iah, 04.10.2012

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Isabel Aha Fakultät für Informatik Öffentlichkeitsarbeit Tel.: +49 721 608-48660 Fax: +49 721 608-41777 E-Mail:isabel aha does-not-exist.kit edu
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.

The press release is available as a PDF file.