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Computer Science | Leibniz Prize 2012 for Peter Sanders!

Leibniz Prize 2012 for Peter Sanders!

Springer author Peter Sanders is recognized with Germany's most prestigious research prize by the DFG, German Research Foundation. The award winners, selected by the Nominations Committee from among 131 nominees, will each receive € 2.5 million in prize money.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2012  

The winners of Germany's most prestigious research prize have been officially announced. At its meeting in Bonn today, the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) named eleven researchers, two women and nine men, as the winners of the 2012 Leibniz Prize. The award winners were selected by the Nominations Committee from among 131 nominees, and will each receive € 2.5 million in prize money. Of the eleven Leibniz Prizes awarded this year, five were awarded in the life sciences, three in the natural sciences, one in the engineering sciences, and two in the humanities and social sciences. The award ceremony will take place in Berlin on 27 February 2012.

Prof. Dr. Peter Sanders  

Theoretical Informatics/Algorithmics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

In Peter Sanders, an internationally highly recognised researcher in algorithmics is being honoured with the Leibniz Prize. The Karlsruhe computer scientist is best known as a key figure in algorithm engineering. Going far beyond the design of efficient algorithms as a core discipline of informatics, algorithm engineering combines design, analysis, implementation and experimental evaluation into one holistic task. Especially spectacular are Sanders’ findings on route planning in road networks, around which a veritable race has broken out between algorithm researchers since the digital publication of the US and European road networks. Sanders developed several heuristics, the best of which was tested on the Western European road network, with 18 million cities and 42 million connections between them, and found to be three million times faster than Dijkstra’s algorithm, the long-time standard for optimal routing in road networks. Other important works by Sanders deal with efficient access to external memory for extremely large data sets, for which he has developed a software library that is now used worldwide by academic and industrial users. Finally, his research on suffix arrays is essential for text analysis and compression as well as many applications in bioinformatics.
Peter Sanders’ career in informatics began with wins in two national competitions in Germany (Bundeswettbewerb Informatik; Jugend forscht). After studying computer science in the US and obtaining a PhD in informatics in Karlsruhe, he became in 2004 professor of theoretical informatics at the University of Karlsruhe, which under the Excellence Initiative merged with the Research Center Karlsruhe to become the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Algorithms and Data Structures 

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