Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
The "Virtual Reconstruction of Heidelberg Castle" project. Mathematicians, computer scientists and art historians work hand in hand to produce a virtual, computer-based replica of the Castle before its destruction in the 17th century.
The first chair of mathematics (1547) was entrusted to a physician, Jacob Curio. The period from 1850 to 1920 was especially noteworthy, with professors like Otto Hesse, Leo Koenigsberger, Immanuel Lazarus Fuchs, Moritz Benedikt Cantor, Paul Stäckel and Oscar Perron teaching in Heidelberg. Heinrich Weber (1866) and Max Noether (1870) gained their lecturing qualifications here and Sonja von Kowalewski, the first woman appointed to a chair of mathematics, also studied at the Faculty (1869/70).
In 1957 Gottfried Köthe became the first director of the Institute of Applied Mathematics, with its emphasis on theoretical and applied functional analysis, numerical analysis, and stochastics. This Institute ran the successful collaborative research centre on "Stochastic Mathematical Models" (1977-1992), providing a central impetus for the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (1987), which has subsequently been closely associated with the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science both in research and staffing.
Research at the Faculty is broad in scope. The Institute of Mathematics concentrates on complex analysis (notably automorphic functions and modular forms), arithmetic (especially algebraic number theory, algorithmic algebra, and arithmetical geometry), and topology and geometry (with emphasis on geometric partial differential equations, algebraic topology, and differential topology with cross-links to differential geometry).
The Institute of Applied Mathematics (German) focuses on probability theory and statistics (with emphasis on time-series analysis, nonparametrics, asymptotic statistical procedures, and computer-intensive statistical methods), applied analysis, numerical analysis and optimisation, notably in the field of modelling and scientific computing. Interest centres here on the computation and optimisation of chemically reactive flows, transport of matter in porous media, control and optimisation of many-body systems, computation of the dynamics of viscous fluids, computer graphics, and modelling in the biosciences.
Hands-on mathematics. The timeless historical collection of mathematical models never fails to exert a profound fascination.
The Institute of Computer Science (German) was founded in 2001 and set up its courses in the subsequent years. Alongside mainstream teaching in computer science, the Heidelberg research and instruction focus is on applications in the sciences and humanities. Central concerns are computability and complexity theory, the efficient use of high-power computing systems, the development, administration and use of web-based information systems, and knowledge management in software development. The strong emphasis on application is especially conspicuous in the dual research focus on discrete and continuous optimisation and technical simulation, both of which link the Institute closely with scientific computing.
Even in the age of computers and new media, the good old blackboard is still an indispensable resource in the communication of knowledge.
The Faculty has a wide range of international contacts facilitating the exchange of visiting professors and students. There are numerous projects funded by the European Union or the German Research Foundation, as well as a collaborative research centre. In Germany, the Heidelberg Faculty is one of the front runners in terms of external funding. In the last few years especially, the quality of its research has been reflected in the number of renowned research awards and the large number of doctoral students.
A host of international Humboldt Prize laureates and fellowship holders spend their research sojourns at the Heidelberg Faculty. In the framework of the German Research Foundation's Research Group on Arithmetic there is close cooperation with the mathematicians at the University of Mannheim.
The Faculty also offers a wide range of curricula. Alongside the long-established Diplom course in mathematics and the courses in mathematics and computer science for prospective secondary school teachers, it also runs a practically oriented Diplom course in mathematics for scientific computing and BA and MA courses in computer science.