50 Years of Informatics Munich

The Way to an Independent Faculty

In 2017, our department will host a grand celebration. The occasion? A half-century of Informatics in Munich. It was in winter semester 1967/68 that the TUM offered the study program "Information Processing" for the very first time. Prof. Friedrich Ludwig Bauer got it all started with his two-semester lecture block "Introduction to Information Processing" for degree students of the Mathematics Institute.

Starting in winter semester 1970/71, the study program "Information Processing" was expanded into a minor in Informatics and since 1972, Informatics has been offered as a major. It was not until 1992 that a new, independent Department of Informatics split off from the Department of Mathematics. It started off with twelve professors and has expanded to today comprise 24 academic chairs with 39 professors and 4,744 students (as of winter semester 2016/17).

When did we start saying "Informatics"?

Again, Friedrich L. Bauer comes into play. In 1969, he took the initiative of founding the Society of Informatics (GI) in order to unite the various scientific interests that all had a focus on information processing. At the time, "Informatik" was already a familiar term in German academic circles, in contrast to English "Computer Science". It was under this name that Bauer wanted to establish Informatics as a scientific discipline, but he was defeated in court by Standard Electric Lorenz (SEL). The electrical engineering manufacturer from Stuttgart held the legal rights to the name "Informatics" until its liquidation in 1992, since it had launched the computing system "Quelle" in 1956. For many years, Informatics in Munich was represented by the Informatics Sun logo, which Prof. Bauer had commissioned as a conference emblem.