Faculty mourns the death of Professor Wolfram Menzel


Nachruf Professor Wolfram MenzelFakultät für Informatik, KIT

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the KIT Faculty of Computer Science, and the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science mourn the loss of


Professor em. Dr. phil. nat. Wolfram Menzel


who died on October 5, 2022, at the age of 89.

With Professor Wolfram Menzel, the KIT Faculty of Computer Science loses one of its founding professors, former dean, and much appreciated colleague.

Professor Wolfram Menzel, who was born in Marienbad in 1933 and came to Germany through the turmoil of World War II, first studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy in Frankfurt am Main. In 1959, he received his doctorate in the field of group theory. Initially, he pursued work in the border area of philosophy and mathematics, but in the following years he turned to the precursors of computer science. From 1965, Menzel worked at the Institute for Communications Processing and Communications Transmission under Karl Steinbuch at the then University of Karlsruhe, now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where he then habilitated in computer science in 1969.

When the first German faculty of computer science was founded in Karlsruhe in 1972, Menzel was one of ten professors appointed to the first chairs of the new faculty and headed the chair of semantics for programming languages. He then guided the fortunes of the Faculty of Computer Science as dean from 1991 to 1993. In 2001 he became emeritus professor.

In his scientific work, Professor Menzel was concerned with the theory of computability, and since the early 1970s he has also devoted himself to the field of machine learning, which is still relevant today. His research group successfully worked on various fields of application, such as strategic planning, forecasting of economic data, robot soccer and many more. The results of his work in the field of deduction and program verification are often still in use today and are constantly being further developed.

In his private life, Menzel devoted himself to experimental poetry, especially in the 1960s. His poems used few words and were published with works by well-known names such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Ernst Jandl and Nelly Sachs.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and loved ones in these difficult times. We will always keep a special memory of his merits and his personality.