Computer science / Informatics (B.Sc.)

Special features

Key research areas

It is the policy of the Department of Computer Science at Saarland University that all research groups carry out both theoretical and practical research. The research projects in informatics being carried out at Saarland University are split among the research groups attached to the 14 chairs of computer science in the Department of Computer Science (and the two additional chairs that are administered jointly with the Department of Mathematics) and the research groups at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the Max Planck Institutes for Computer Science and Software Systems, all of which are located on the Saarbrücken campus and all of which are involved in long-term collaborative projects with the university. More than 200 computer scientists and researchers are currently working at these institutions in Saarbrücken.

Research in computer science / informatics generally pursues the following three broad objectives:

  • Extending the functionality of hardware and software systems, i.e. developing new applications,
  • Improving the performance and cost-effectiveness of specific functionalities
  • Formally proving and ensuring that the systems of interest are correct and highly reliable.

The research projects being conducted in Saarbrücken cover all of these three goals. The drive to develop new applications is found for example in the research work being carried out in the fields of multimedia applications and distributed information and communications systems, as well as in a variety of projects concerned with language and image processing. The issue of efficiency is a key consideration in research projects into geometric algorithms, fundamental methods in cryptography and high-performance communications protocols. Finally, the correctness of hardware and software systems is the major goal of research into the use of program analysis techniques and formal specification methodologies. Many of these projects also involve the development of complete prototype systems.

With opportunities to work as course tutors or undergraduate research assistants, informatics students at Saarland University have numerous chances to become acquainted with research at an early stage of their university education. The department is home to a graduate research training programme funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and is also involved in the interdisciplinary graduate research training programmes ‘Cognitive Science’ and ‘Language Technology and Cognitive Systems’ and the collaborative research centre ‘Resources and Cognitive Processes’. The International Max Planck Research School awards scholarships for the Master’s degree programme to particularly talented computer science students from around the world.

Over the last seven years, 148 doctoral degrees have been awarded for research carried out at the Department of Computer Science in Saarbrücken, making Saarland University one the most successful ‘production sites’ for highly qualified research scientists. In that same period, the university also awarded 33 Habilitation degrees (advanced research degrees that entitle the holder to teach at professorial level) to candidates in the field of computer science, making the university a key player in developing the next generation of university teachers. The informatics programmes at the Department of Computer Science came out top in the recent CHE-Stern ranking survey. Studying computer science at Saarland University is highly respected. Polls of university teachers in Germany have shown that Saarbrücken is regularly cited as one of the top three locations to study for a degree in informatics.