The Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2024. This is an informal heads-up. Stay tuned for more detailed information and save-the-dates on ZIB’s homepage in the weeks to come.

ZIB’s Legacy: 40 years is a long time

As we enter 2024, the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) proudly celebrates its 40th year of excellence in applied mathematics and computer science. Founded in 1984, ZIB has been at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, contributing significantly to the fields of algorithmic mathematics and computer science. It has been a remarkable journey so far. Starting out as High-Performance Computing (HPC) Center, which was also reflected in its original name “Konrad Zuse Institue für Informationstechnik”, ZIB has since evolved into a top-tier fully-fledged research center combining methodology development with applications and their implementation on high-performance computing hardware. ZIB is also an integral part now of many large-scale research efforts, such as, e.g., the Math+ Cluster of Excellence, the Research Campus Modal, and various CRRs.

ZIB’s legacy naturally aligns with the evolution of applied mathematics and computer science in the last four decades. Its research has primarily focused on modeling, simulation, optimization, and more recently AI, collaborating with academic and industrial partners. Interestingly, AI had been already mentioned explicitly in one of its very first reports in 1985 (H/T Thorsten Koch for the find):

ZIB and AI

Figure 1. Even back in 1985 AI was already a topic at ZIB. This arguably makes ZIB the “oldest” AI research institution in Berlin.

If one takes a closer look, many of ZIB’s projects in fact did use methodologies that would be labelled AI by today’s standards. Notable achievements over the years include the development of SCIP, a leading solver for mixed integer programming, the development of a new generation of painkillers that target inflamed tissue only, and significant advancements in data-intensive high-performance computing among many other important achievements; there will be a special anniversary edition of our report detailing many of these achievements.

On a personal note: It is quite an amazing experience for me to be at ZIB at this time. When I started out as student and moved from Algebra, Infinite Logic, etc. to the “dark side” of applied mathematics around the time of my PhD, ZIB was extremely present in my academic life. Basically all my academic “role models”—for the lack of a better word—where or had been at ZIB. In fact, ZIB has produced a very large number of very successful researchers many of them either professors today or at top-tier tech companies leading the way in, e.g., optimization. I just went through the alumni list and it is truly remarkable, how many top-tier researchers are somehow connected to ZIB. This will be an amazing year.

Events

It has been a remarkable journey that deserves celebration and there will be many events throughout 2024 with two main events to mark its 40th anniversary:

  1. Anniversary Conference (June 11-13, 2024): A scientific conference highlighting ZIB’s contributions to research and innovation. Expect engaging presentations, workshops, and panel discussions with Alumni and others that will share some of their stories.

  2. Public Celebration (September 13, 2024): An event open to the broader public, showcasing ZIB’s impact over the years. An excellent opportunity for networking and reflecting on ZIB’s journey and the future ahead.

The above will be complemented by various additional activities including but not limited to something special for the long night of sciences as well as enganging with local schools.