Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing Celebrates 25 Years

Press Release No. 38/2013
15 February 2013
Ceremony and symposium commemorate the IWR’s start and offer insights into current research

A ceremony and symposium will mark the 25th anniversary of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) of Heidelberg University. This central research institution hosts scientists from various disciplines in their exploration of the issues in the natural sciences, technology and the humanities through the methodologies of mathematical modelling, simulation, optimisation, image processing and visualisation. The two-day event, being held on 21 and 22 February 2013, will cover the beginnings and the development of the IWR as well as current research.

The ceremony will open on Thursday (21 February) with words of welcome from Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, and Dr. Renate Fischer of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, after the reception by Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Bock, Managing Director of the IWR. The deans of the participating faculties at the IWR will also address the audience. A round-table discussion with science journalist Volker Stollorz will follow, with Prof. Bock, IWR founding directors Prof. Dr. Willi Jäger and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wolfrum and former Heidelberg University Rector Prof. Dr. Gisbert zu Putlitz weighing in on the role of scientific computing and the development of the computational sciences. The ceremony will close with a presentation by mathematician Prof. Dr. Roland Bulirsch (Technical University Munich) entitled “Virtual Realities – The Symbiosis of Art and Science”. The event, being held in English, begins at 3 pm in the Great Hall of the New University at Grabengasse 3-5.

Numerous renowned scientists are expected at the IWR symposium on Friday (22 February). The day’s programme includes lectures on the significance of scientific computing within current fields of research. The role of modelling and image processing in observing the changing earth from space will be discussed, as well as the use of numerical analysis in simulation technologies. The day-long symposium, in English, will take place in the Chemistry lecture building, Im Neuenheimer Feld 252, from 8.45 am to 5.15 pm.

The Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing was founded in 1987, the first university research center of its kind in Germany. Today it comprises more than 50 research teams from eight faculties. Overall, approximately 600 Heidelberg researchers work within the framework of the centre in interdisciplinary cooperation. In addition to mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer sciences and the life sciences, economics, the social sciences, psychology, the cognitive sciences, the humanities and the cultural sciences are increasingly represented. The Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences (HGS MathComp) was established on the initiative of the IWR and is funded by the Excellence Initiative. Here, 150 doctoral candidates from all the disciplines represented at the center conduct research.

“The methods of scientific computing have become a key technology for solving scientific and technical problems”, explains Hans Georg Bock. Areas of application range from fuel cell design and chemical plant control optimisation to new processes in tumour diagnostics. Prof. Bock: “Along with theory and experimentation, scientific computing is considered the third pillar of methodology in science.”

For the complete anniversary programme and information on the history of the IWR, go to

Sabine Kluge
Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing
Phone +49 6221 54-8854

Communications and Marketing
Press Office
phone: +49 6221 54-2311


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