Master Program of Studies Informatics with Study Profiles
As of winter semester 2017/2018 the KIT Department of Informatics offers nine different study profiles as tracks within the Master program in Informatics. In addition to the regular Master’s degree the student receives a certificate upon successfully completing the requirements for the chosen profile. For example this could be a “Master of Informatics with the Profile IT-Security”.
For successfully completing a study profile, students are not required to take additional courses. They merely have to plan the selection of courses for their Master program studies according to the requirements of the chosen profile. A Master’s degree with a profile is equivalent to a Master’s degree without one. Students are still encouraged to individually choose their specializations. The present examination regulations apply for both programmes of studies with and without a profile.
Study Profiles (Brief descriptions)
1. Data-Intensive Computing
The rapidly growing amounts of data generated in science, technology and our daily lives are referred to as „Big Data“. Applying technologies like cloud-computing and multi-core processors we are able to process these large amounts of data. To extract meaningful knowledge, skills in data science, scientific computing, parallel processing and algorithms are necessary. This profile connects all these aspects being equally theoretical founded, as well as interdisciplinar and oriented towards current applications.
2. Energy Informatics
Shaping an efficient, sustainable and robust energy supply for the future is a fundamental important concern for our society. Informatics plays a central role in design, implementation and safeguarding of modern energy systems. The profile focuses on the required information technologies, coupled with the necessary technical knowledge of energy systems with the goal of a secure and sustainable energy supply.
3. Internet and Society
The Internet is increasingly growing into all areas of life, it influences a large part of our daily actions and is fundamental for our digital society.
The design, implementation and use of Internet-based services raises profound questions as the Internet has an influence on personal, social and legal values, such as self-determination, data use, participation or equal treatment.
The profile is of an interdisciplinary nature and combines technological foundations with knowledge and techniques from the fields of philosophy, law and sociology, so that the social impact of Internet-based services can be realistically assessed and taken into account in the development of such services.
Gradually advancing digitalization and interconnectedness are changing all areas of life, influencing a significant part of our daily actions. This development opens up many new opportunities, but it also comes with great risks such as data theft, data manipulation or surveillance. The profile IT-Security focuses on cryptographic methods and their use in complex IT systems. Security thus plays a central role. However, legal aspects such as data protection, privacy and the needs and limits of state surveillance are also of high importance.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the part of informatics dealing with the perception, reasoning, communication and learning of intelligent systems. Intelligent systems are an integral part of our society (e.g. smartphones, autonomous vehicles). The profile focuses on fundamental algorithms in the field of machine learning and their applications to the individual components of such intelligent systems (e.g. speech recognition, visual perception, interaction).
6. Multi-Scale Computing Systems
Computing nowadays starts at the Internet-of-Things (IoT) through embedded computing, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS like industry automation) and high-end servers in massively parallel super computers. Their constraints and requirements widely vary: while IoT is low power and low cost, on the upper end performance, power density and reliability are the key. A wide variety of programming and computing models reflects these partly diverse constraints. Students acquire the skills to use, program, built and design computing systems and system software that scope with the demands of a connected world.
Robotics is an interdisciplinary research area and at the same time a key technology that contributes significantly to the solution of societal and economic challenges and to improving our quality of life. The profile is likewise interdisciplinary: Key questions of autonomous and cognitive robotics are addressed form an algorithmic point of view (e.g. perception, action generation, learning), as well as from a technical point of view (e.g. construction and functioning of robot components and systems).
8. Software Engineering
Software is the cornerstone of digitalization: software-based services are integral parts of our everyday life and their importance to our society is steadily increasing. New areas of application, such as modern mobility systems, will present methodical challenges to software engineering in the near future. The profile covers methodical and technological skills to systematically develop, validate and verify complex software systems. Students can also take courses on compiler construction, semantics and software verification.
9. Visual Computing
Visual Computing spans across multiple research areas in which algorithms are designed and analyzed for the generation, processing, and display of visual data (or data and processes to be visualized). Visual Computing includes methods for capturing, generating and producing (e.g. by means of 3D printing) geometric objects and scenes. Further key aspects are photo-realistic computer graphics, physical simulation, scientific and information visualization, animation, and virtual and augmented reality. Additional applications are found, e.g. in the area of human-machine interfaces.