Informatics = Basic Subject, Challenge and Change

Computers today are omnipresent, they determine our lives. Yet computer science is rarely taught in schools as a basic subject like for instance mathematics. After many years of stagnation in Europe, finally things started to move. The discussion of what computer science is, what material should be covered and how it should be taught has been opened. In this talk we shall discuss this issue and differentiate between informatics as basic subject from computer literacy and point to some developments and initiatives.

Swiss citizen, born May 24, 1944. Diploma in mathematics ETH Zurich 1968. Afterwards assistant of H. Rutishauser in his new institute of computer science. PhD in mathematics 1973, supervisor P. Henrici. From 1973 to 1987: Professor for numerical analysis and computer science at the university of applied sciences Neu Technikum Buchs. 1977/78 Visiting Scientist at Stanford University. 1979 Habilitation and Privatdozent for numerical analysis at ETH. 1984, 1993 and 2006 sabbatical leaves again at Stanford University. From 1987 to 1991 associate, since 1991 full professor for computer science at ETH. From 1989 to 1997 head of the Institute of Scientific Computing. 1990 to 1992: chairmen of the faculty of computer science. 1989 to 1991 head of the Swiss Supercomputer Initiative for acquiring the national supercomputer in Manno. From 1997 to 2001 chairman of the department and director of education of computer science. Since 2009 emeritus ETH and visiting professor at Baptist University in Hong Kong.


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