Department of Computer Science

"I am a b-it proud" – b-it turns 20

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Wednesday 16 November 2022

The joint scientific institution of the University of Bonn, RWTH Aachen, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (b-it) celebrated its 20th birthday. The members of the advisory board and employees of the foundation, former rectors, friends and sponsors, professors, students and alumni and, as guest of honour, Dame Wendy Hall were invited to the anniversary celebration at the institute in Bonn.

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Large group picture in front of the b-it building in Bonn. Photo: H-BRS/Kira Wazinski
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b-it director Paul Plöger with founding director Matthias Jarke. Photo: H-BRS/Juri Küstenmacher

On 11 November 2022, b-it Director Professor Paul Plöger from Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg   warmly welcomed the guests to the b-it campus in Bonn on behalf of his directorate colleagues Professor Stefan Decker (RWTH Aachen) and Professor Stefan Wrobel (University of Bonn).

"After 20 years, the b-it has now grown up. With its many new challenges, we have managed to successfully and sustainably position the degree programmes both nationally and internationally during this time. Our graduates are highly sought after by many global players as well as in medium-sized companies or at universities. I see two reasons for this: firstly, we have opened up the Master "Autonomous Systems" to current topics such as Data Science and Machine Learning, and secondly, we are very grateful for the support of the state of NRW, without which the successes of b-it would be unthinkable. We are therefore confident that we will also be able to face the questions that will come our way in the next 20 years."

Die Gründungsväter des b-it: Dr. Kurt-Ulrich Witt, Dr. Matthias Jarke, Dr. Armin B. Cremers
The founding fathers of b-it f.l. Dr Kurt-Ulrich Witt, Dr Matthias Jarke, Dr Armin B. Cremers. Photo: H-BRS/Kira Wazinski

Founding fathers

The b-it, financed in part by funds from the Bonn-Berlin Equalisation Scheme, was launched in 2002. The founding directors Professor Armin B. Cremers (University of Bonn), Professor Matthias Jarke (RWTH Aachen) and Professor Kurt-Ulrich Witt (H-BRS) designed the research institute for a predominantly international target audience, with a focus on Master's programmes - only three years after the Bologna Declaration of 1999. The three founding fathers all came to the celebration and did not miss the opportunity to look back on the twentieth anniversary in short speeches. 

Gründungsväter und Direktorium des b-it
Founding fathers and board of directors of the b-it. Photo: H-BRS/Kira Wazinski

When Kurt-Ulrich Witt, who was also instrumental in setting up the Department of Computer Science at the H-BRS, spoke about the founding and successful development of b-it, he commented: "I have to say I am a bit proud. Or should I rather say, I am a b-it proud?".

Through networking and good cooperation, also on an international level, the b-it can point to numerous successes in research, well-trained students, doctoral students and alumni who contribute their knowledge to companies and scientific institutions and take on professional and social responsibility.

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Dame Wendy Hall during her talk. Photo: H-BRS/Juri Küstenmacher

The Four Internets
The social responsibility was also pointed out by the top-class British keynote speaker Dame Wendy Hall, who could be won as a member of the scientific advisory board, in her lecture "Four Internets: Data, Geopolitics and the Governance of Cyberspace".

Hall is Regius Professor in Computer Science at the University of Southampton and, together with Kieron O'Hara, published the book of the same name in August 2021. In her lecture, she illuminated the beginnings and the different varieties of the internet, past and possible developments of the global structure but also of regional special paths. The focus was on the aspects of control and freedom of opinion, data protection and user behaviour. Afterwards, the expert answered numerous questions from the audience.

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Master's student at H-BRS explaining her research poster. Photo: H-BRS/Kira Wazinski

Poster session

During a snack break, students from the master's programmes Autonomous Systems, Life Science Informatics and Media Informatics presented their results in a relaxed poster session. This was part of a one-hour break, during which the guests could also talk to each other and have a small and delicious snack. The posters were judged and awarded prizes by a team of jurors.

Award winners

Autonomous Systems:

PhD prize: Aleksandar Mitrevski
Master Prize: Ahmed Faisal Abdelrahman

Life Science Informatics:

PhD Prize: Colin Birkenbihl
Master Prize: Prayya Mishra

Media Informatics:

PhD Prize: Oliver Nowak
Master Prize: Marius Nisslmüller

We congratulate the winners and wish the b-it continued success!


Professor im Ruhestand / retired professor Dr. Paul G. Plöger

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