Dorothea Wagner receives honorary doctorate from TU Dortmund University

Dorothea Wagner receives honorary doctorate from TU Dortmund University

The Faculty of Computer Science at TU Dortmund University celebrated its 50th birthday on Tuesday, November 8, with a ceremony in the Goldsaal of the Westfalenhallen. As part of the festivities, the faculty awarded an honorary doctorate to the chair of the Science Council, Prof. Dorothea Wagner from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), for her outstanding achievements in the field of computer science as well as her contributions to higher education policy.

When it was founded in 1972, the Department of Computer Science at the then University of Dortmund was one of the first of its kind; today, the faculty is one of the largest in Germany. It provided important impulses for computer science and the Internet in Germany: With the EUnet project, it operated one of the first Internet service providers and created the first six ".de" domains in 1986. Today, the faculty conducts top-level research in the Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, the Collaborative Research Center "Availability of Information through Analysis under Resource Constraints" and the new Research Center "Trustworthy Data Science and Security" of the University Alliance Ruhr, among others.

Rector Prof. Manfred Bayer highlighted, among other things, the faculty's contribution to the introduction of machine learning in Germany, saying, "The Faculty of Computer Science has always conducted groundbreaking research in a field that is becoming increasingly relevant to society." In a conversation with Heike Marzen of the Dortmund Economic Development Corporation and Prof. Gernot A. Fink, Dean of the Faculty, the importance of computer science for the Dortmund location and the close cooperation in knowledge transfer also became clear. For example, the IT service provider Materna was founded in Dortmund as early as 1980 by two employees of the faculty.

Honorary doctorate for special achievements and merits
For her outstanding achievements in computer science, especially in algorithm engineering, the Faculty of Computer Science has awarded Prof. Dorothea Wagner an honorary doctorate. She has been a professor at the KIT Institute for Theoretical Computer Science since 2003 and her research focuses, among other things, on algorithms for complex networks such as route planning systems. In 2016, she was admitted to acatech, the German Academy of Science and Engineering, and in 2019 she was awarded the Konrad Zuse Medal of the German Informatics Society. She has been a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities since 2015 and its chair since 2020. Previously, she was vice president of the German Research Foundation for eight years.
Prof. Wagner expressed her gratitude for the award and said that important impulses for her research came from Dortmund, for example from Prof. Ingo Wegener. Among other things, she reported on the beginnings of her research on route planning networks in the early 2000s and projects on modeling social networks. As Chair of the German Council of Science and Humanities, she would particularly like to advance the topics of science communication and digitization in the science system.

Prof. Manfred Bayer (r.), Rector of TU Dortmund University, and Prof. Gernot A. Fink (l.), dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, awarded an honorary doctorate to the chair of the Science Council, Prof. Dorothea Wagner of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. (Image: Oliver Schaper/TU Dortmund)