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About Us

The Mission of the IWR

The Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) pursues, since more than twenty-five years now, successfully its vision to develop mathematical and computational methods for science, engineering and humanities. By transporting mathematical and computational methods into different areas of application, the IWR naturally builds bridges across different disciplines. This interdisciplinary tradition is not only restricted to research, but it embraces also the education of the next generation of excellent scientists. Since its foundation, the IWR set out to advance international research networks and is still promoting scientific computing all over the world.

A Brief Historical Overview

The IWR was founded in 1987 by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg as a central research institute to promote research in the highly interdisciplinary field of scientific computing. Since then the IWR dedicates itself to interdisciplinary research and the promotion of high-performance computing. Also owing to the success of the IWR, scientific computing has developed into one of the key technologies of the 21st century and is nowadays considered an integral part of scientific research, bridging and complementing theory and experiment. Being placed between theory and application, scientific computing is by definition an interdisciplinary research area, since it requires expertise in both areas in addition to computer science and technology. This interdisciplinarity has been realized within the IWR right from its foundation, as it was furnished with scientists originating from three different disciplines: mathematics, physics and chemistry. These scientists worked together within the IWR, however, they were also part of their home faculties ensuring from the start disciplinary excellence together with an interdisciplinary spirit. This structure has proven to be very successful and has thus been maintained until today.

In the eyes of the IWR, scientific computing comprises the development of mathematical methods and efficient software to tackle challenging applications using high-performance computers. This clearly distinguishes the research at the IWR from purely computational science, which refers to the application of existing computer programs to scientific questions. In other words, the research at the IWR drives computational science and is itself driven by the computational needs for efficiency and demands of experimental scientists. Hence, the methodological aspect is important to all members of the IWR and is inspired by challenging scientific applications and most modern computer developments.
Last Update: 20.05.2020 - 10:15

IWR-Report 2014


Portrait of the IWR