Konrad Zuse Medal Awarded to Saarbrücken Professor Anja Feldmann
Computer scientist Prof. Anja Feldmann receives the 2023 Konrad Zuse Medal of the Gesellschaft für Informatik. Photo: MPI INF
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Computer scientist Anja Feldmann, director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, has been awarded the prestigious Konrad Zuse Medal by the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI; German Informatics Society). This medal is considered the highest accolade in the field of computer science in Germany. Feldmann receives this honor in recognition of her substantial contributions to computer networks and her research on internet traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award ceremony will take place on September 28 at the GI’s INFORMATIK FESTIVAL 2023 in Berlin.
As a computer scientist, Anja Feldmann is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in the field of the Internet. Christine Regitz, President of the GI in the press release of the German Informatics Society: “Anja Feldmann’s work includes groundbreaking work on Internet traffic measurement, modeling, and optimization, providing important insights into complex network traffic phenomena. These analyses and modeling led to optimizations that significantly improved the reliability and performance of the Internet. Of particular note is her research on changes in Internet traffic during the Corona pandemic.“
Anja Feldmann’s work includes extensive measurements and analyses of changes in Internet traffic during the corona pandemic, highlighting the societal impact of her research. Her studies detail the surge in video conferencing and remote work environments, evaluating throughput and latency at various network points, and identifying regional disparities and potential bottlenecks. Moreover, her research illustrates that the internet managed to sustain the abrupt spike in data traffic and extreme load peaks through efficient and optimized traffic management.
Since its inception in 1987, the Konrad Zuse Medal for Services to Computer Science has been conferred biennially by the Gesellschaft für Informatik (German Informatics Society). It is the organization’s highest honor, awarded to individuals who have substantially advanced the field of computer science through exemplary achievements in research, technology, or application. Feldmann is one of six researchers from the Saarland Informatics Campus to receive this honor, joining the ranks of Prof. Kurt Mehlhorn (1995), Prof. Günter Hotz (1999), Prof. Thomas Lengauer (2003), Prof. Reinhard Wilhelm (2009), and Prof. Gerhard Weikum (2021), making SIC the location with the highest number of Zuse laureates in Germany.
Feldmann began her career by studying computer science at the University of Paderborn, where she received her diploma in 1990. After transferring to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA), she earned her Master of Science degree there in 1991, and her doctorate in 1995 with a dissertation on “On-Line Call Admission for High Speed Networks”. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at AT&T Research until 2000, when she accepted a position at Saarland University as Chair of Computer Networking. Despite an offer from ETH Zurich in 2002, she chose to move to Munich as the first female full professor of the Faculty of Computer Science at the Technical University. In 2006, she took a professorship at the Technical University in Berlin, where she later served as Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 2010 to 2013. Finally, in 2017, Anja Feldmann was appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken.
Over the years, Feldmann has been the recipient of several prestigious awards in recognition of her research. She is a member of several notable organizations including the German Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina” (since 2009), the German Academy of Science and Engineering “acatech” (2019), the Expert Committee on Communication of the German UNESCO Commission (2019), and the Supervisory Board of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology “KIT” (2020). Additionally, she has been honored with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2011), the Schelling Prize (2018), and the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2024).