University of Heidelberg


Institutions located at the IWR

Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences
The HGS MathComp provides a structured interdisciplinary research training program to promote the developement of new and even more powerful methods of scientific computing and to carry this methodology into new scientific territory.
Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI)
An "Industry on Campus" Project with the aim of providing cutting-edge solutions to basic image analysis problems for applications in industry, environmental and life sciences.
Spatio/Temporal Graphical Models and Applications in Image Analysis (GK 1653)
The Graduate Program, located at the Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI) and supported by the HGS MathComp, is an additional interdisciplinary branch of doctoral projects comprising topics of applied statistics, optimization and image processing, with a focus on the representation and analysis of empirical data using graphical models.
Center for Modelling and Simulation in the Biosciences (BIOMS)
The Center was established to promote the use of modeling and simulation in the biosciences in order to achieve a quantitative understanding of biological processes, both on the molecular level and on the level of cells and tissues.
International Graduiertenkolleg (IGK 710)
Graduate Program "Complex Processes: Modelling, Simulation and Optimization"

About the IWR

The Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, Germany, was founded by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in 1987. IWR is a central institution of the university and as such unique within the German university system. Its purpose is to bundle the research activities and to promote research work in the emerging discipline of scientific computing. The force behind its foundation were two basic ideas:

Consistent Interdisciplinary Approach

Scientific Computing is only reasonable if details of the problem considered are handled together with experts from natural sciences and technology. The scientific work of the IWR is based on an interdisciplinary co-operation in modelling, simulation and experimental verification. Scientists from mathematics, computer sciences, physics, chemistry, biology and medicine participate in the center.

Intensive Use of High-Performance Computers

We have been observing an exponential increase in processing speed and memory capacities of computers for decades. And we will see continued growth throughout the following two or three decades. The efficient use of supercomputers, especially parallel processors, by the development of adjusted intelligent algorithms is of great importance.

Objectives of the IWR

Typical tasks of scientific computing are the so-called "Grand Challenges". As far as IWR is concerned, these are modeling of climate and ocean circulation, turbulent flows, combustion, bio-molecules and drug design, vehicle dynamics, and processes in porous media. To implement and dissiminate the knowledge obtained the following instruments have to be made available:

  • Mathematical Modeling and Computational Simulation of Complex Systems in Science and Technology
  • Development and Use of Computer Methods and Software for Applications in
    Industry and Economy
  • Visualization, Computer Graphics, Image Processing
  • Education in Scientific Computing

The successful fundamental research work documented in multiple awards and the scientific reputation of the IWR has led to a participation in multiple joint projects in Germany and abroad. IWR intensively cooperates with industry making use of an acquisition center and the Steinbeis Transfer Center.

Structure of the IWR

The management of the IWR is incumbent upon a managing directorate of three directors with a managing director, which is elected by the groups participating.

Managing Board of Directors:

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Georg Bock - Managing Director
Prof. Dr. Bernd Jähne
Prof. Dr. h.c. Rolf Rannacher

For the scientific concept of the IWR, a connection to the special branches of study (mathematics and computer science, chemistry, physics and astronomy, biology and medicine at present) is of great importance. It is of no interest to the scientific objectives to remove researchers and research groups from institutes or departements and thus fit the danger of scientific isolation structurally. That is why a form of organization is strived for which ties the members of the IWR down to the scientific basis of the corresponding sciences. Consequently, the IWR consists of:

  • members who belong to the core of the IWR, as their workplace is located on the premises of the IWR and their funding is predominantly affected by the IWR, but who are nevertheless embedded into the corresponding departments as far as teaching and self-management are concerned
  • members who initially belonged to another institute within the departments but were integrated into the IWR as equal members according to the administrative rules of procedure
  • guest members who do not belong to the University of Heidelberg

At present, nine research groups are directly affiliated to the IWR (about 120 people); another 29 research groups are associated. The IWR has also 13 independent junior researchers and 8 guest members.
(List of all 38 research groups)

Scientists who would like to become members of the IWR are committed to bringing a defined part of their work into the IWR. The double membership excludes a duplication of basic equipment (e.g. office space) and allows for an effective use of the means at hand by joint use.

For more information on the scientific activities of the various groups see also: IWR brochure (PDF)

Additional institutions

BMBF Mathematics Program
A program for applied collaboration projects in mathematics supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Industrial Mathematics Digest and Special Interest Group for Mathematics in Industry and Business
former SFB 359
Sonderforschungsbereich 359: Reactive Flows, Diffusion and Transport
G. Bock,
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