After a wide-ranging evaluation of the information sciences at the universities of Baden-Württemberg, evaluators of the State Research Advisory Committee established in their final report that the University of Heidelberg has "achieved outstanding results" and "developed a world-ranking centre of competence" in Scientific Computing. Rector Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff commented on the report with gratification: "The policy of the University of Heidelberg to give consistent support to front-line research and the excellence produced by our central commitment to scientific computing and application-oriented information science has been impressively confirmed by the evaluation of an independent, international and highly qualified team of experts."
"Outsiders are not normally aware of the fact that the University of Heidelberg has built up outstanding expertise in the information sciences," said Prof. Dr. Georg Bock of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computing (IWR). Bock, the coordinator of the evaluation process for the University of Heidelberg, also expressed his gratification at the results: "It has become apparent that, with its future-oriented priorities, information science in Heidelberg can hold its own both on the national and the international plane."
Bock went on to add that the University and the Faculties involved had undertaken "immense efforts" in the past few years to build up and extend this emphasis on information science and scientific computing. "That is why," he said, "we are highly gratified at this praise from qualified circles and consider our strategy fully vindicated."
Evaluators: "Achievements justify research focus"
The evaluators of the State Research Advisory Committee singled out for emphatic commendation the fact that at IWR new scientific developments and new applications have been taken up in a flexible and progressive way. "The connection between methodical development and application is close and successful." In comparison with other sites, the University of Heidelberg has given clear priority to research, the evaluators said, and the achievements produced fully justify this decision. "Overall, the scientific quality of this site is excellent." As top-ranking parameters making for the attractiveness of the location, the evaluators emphasise the topics worked on, the intellectual atmosphere and the infrastructure.
Best marks for scientific effectiveness and potential
The evaluators' report establishes that in Heidelberg scientific cooperation in the field in question has been sought and cultivated systematically and successfully. "On the basis of its position, the University can select the partners it needs." The fruitful and highly competitive climate and its highly research-friendly structures come in for special praise. "The medium-to-long-term scientific potential can be regarded as excellent."
Further, the evaluators endorse the University of Heidelberg's clear strategic decision to exempt the Centre for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computing from cutbacks in the framework of the solidarity pact. The evaluators recommend support from the State and the University for the further development of this priority research field. The evaluators also gave express support to the super-computer recently acquired by the IWR, which ranks 35th on the list of the fastest computers in the world.
A total of 21 research groups at the University of Heidelberg were evaluated.
Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Georg Bock
phone: 06221/548237, fax: 545444