Anja Feldmann bestowed with the 2023 Konrad Zuse Medal

Computer scientist Anja Feldmann, director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, has been honored by the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) with the Konrad Zuse Medal. The Zuse Medal is the highest award in computer science in Germany. She is being honored for her outstanding achievements in the field of computer networks and her research on Internet traffic during the corona pandemic. The award will be presented on September 28 at the GI's INFORMATIK FESTIVAL 2023 in Berlin.

Anja Feldmann is a computer scientist and one of the world's leading experts in the field of Internet. Christine Regitz, President of the GI, in the press release of the Gesellschaft für Informatik: "Anja Feldmann's work includes groundbreaking work on the measurement, modeling and optimization of Internet traffic, 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."

Among other things, Anja Feldmann has conducted comprehensive measurements and analyses of changes in Internet traffic during the corona pandemic, which underscore the social relevance of her research. These studies show the enormous increase in video conferencing and home offices, analyze throughput and latency of the Internet at selected points, and characterize regional differences and selective bottlenecks.  This work also demonstrates that the Internet was able to cope well with the drastic increase in data volume and extreme load peaks thanks to well thought-out and optimized traffic management.

The Konrad Zuse Medal for Services to Computer Science has been awarded every other year by the Gesellschaft für Informatik since 1987. It is the highest award of this society.  The medal is awarded to individuals who have advanced the field of computer science with outstanding achievements in research, technology or application. Besides Anja Feldmann, five other researchers at the Saarland Informatics Campus have already received this award: Prof. Kurt Mehlhorn (1995), Prof. Günter Hotz (1999), Prof. Thomas Lengauer (2003), Prof. Reinhard Wilhelm (2009) and Prof. Gerhard Weikum (2021). Thus, no other research location in Germany has more Zuse laureates than SIC.

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. In 2002, she turned down a call to ETH Zurich, instead going to Munich as the first full professor of the Faculty of Computer Science at the Technical University, and in 2006 to Berlin as a professor at the Technical University, where she was Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 2010 to 2013. In 2017, Anja Feldmann was accepted by the Max Planck Society as a scientific member and sent to the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbrücken as director as of January 2018.

Feldmann has already received several awards for her research. She is full member of 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).  She is also a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2011), the Schelling Prize (2018), and the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2024).

Press release of the German Gesellschaft für Informatik: