Hasso Plattner Institute

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A-B-C building (former main buildung)
File:Universitaet Potsdam - Hoersaalgebaeude des HPI.jpg
Lecture halls (old picture without main building in the background)
File:Interaktive Skulptur "Mr. Net".jpg
Mr. Net: interactive sculpture designed by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa

The Hasso Plattner Institute (Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik GmbH), shortly HPI, is a German information technology university college, affiliated to the University of Potsdam and is located in Potsdam-Babelsberg nearby Berlin. Teaching and Research of HPI is focused on "IT-Systems Engineering". HPI was founded in 1998 and is the first, and still the only entirely privately funded university college in Germany. It is financed entirely through private funds donated by its founder, Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner, who co-founded the largest European software company SAP AG, and is currently the chairman of SAP's supervisory board. President and CEO of HPI is Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel.


The HPI was founded in 1998 as a public-private partnership. The private partner is the "Hasso Plattner Foundation for Software Systems Engineering", which is the administrative body responsible for the HPI and its only corporate member. The foundation’s legal status is that of a GmbH, a limited-liability company according to German law. As the public part of the partnership, the Bundesland Brandenburg provided the estate where several multi-storey buildings were built to form a nice campus. Hasso Plattner declared to provide at least 200 million Euros for the HPI within the first 20 years.<ref name="hpi_heise_news">Template:Cite web</ref> He is also actively involved as a lecturer and head of the chair on Enterprise Platforms, where the in-memory technology was developed. In 2004 he received his honorary professorship from the University of Potsdam.

Teaching and Research

Bachelor/Master in IT Systems Engineering

The HPI offers a six-semester Bachelor's program and a four-semester Master's program in IT Systems Engineering. It is concerned with the conception, design, and deployment of complex IT systems based on findings and developments in the field of computer and information science as well as on experience with their practical application in the business world and society at large. Engineering-based methods are used to teach students about the models, processes, architectures, and performance of such systems and enable them to gain initial practical experience in this area.

HPI School of Design Thinking

The HPI School of Design Thinking – established in 2007 – provides each year 160 students from many different fields of study the opportunity of working in multidisciplinary teams where they learn to become invatores and to develop particularly userfriendly, IT-related products and services. HPI cooperates closely with Stanford University, in Palo Alto, home of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. In 2008, the Hasso Plattner Foundation launched a joint innovation research program, the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program. Via its HPI Academy, the Hasso Plattner Institute also offers professionals an education in Design Thinking and various fields related to information technology.

HPI Research School

Since October 2005, the HPI’s Research School for "Service-Oriented Systems Engineering" has been offering a PhD program modeled to support a more interdisciplinary PhD education. All professors of the HPI with their research groups are supporting pillars for this PhD school whose interdisciplinary structure interconnects the HPI research groups and fosters close and fruitful collaborations. Every year, up to ten new PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers are admitted and awarded a scholarship. In 2009, the Research School opened a first international branch in South Africa, the "HPI research school at Cape Town University", with up to 15 PhD students. 2010 another branch was opened in Haifa, where up to 15 PhD students joined the research team of the “HPI Research School at Technion.” In 2011, the “HPI Research School at Nanjing University” was opened a s a third branch with up to 15 PhD students.

HPI Future SOC Lab

The research facility, HPI Future SOC Lab, provides a platform for researching how the potential of the newest multicore computer architectures combined with massive main memory resources can be used for new software solutions. The lab was opened in 2010. Using the latest hard- and software, which comes straight from the R&D departments of large IT corporations, HPI scientists and guest researchers from other academic institutions explore and develop new concepts for Service Oriented Computing (SOC). Included in this computing infrastructure is e.g. a 1,000 core computer cluster or a system with 6TB main memory.


In 2012, based on HPI's long lasting tele-TASK research project, openHPI has started to work. openHPI is an Internet educational platform for offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), which is embedded in a global social network. It offers free interactive online courses about different topics in information technology. Everyone is welcome to take part in the open online courses and thereby unlock a new world of knowledge. Participants can become familiar with basic topics of computer science, and IT systems engineering as well as with advance current research topics in IT. They also have the benefit to discuss issues and developing solutions in a global virtual community with other participants from around the globe.

Rankings and Awards

The Center for Higher Education Development (CHE) is an independent private non-profit organization, founded by the German Rectors' Conference and the Bertelsmann Foundation. According to its university ranking in 2012 and 2013, HPI's Bachelor's and Master's programs are among the four best-ranked computer science programs in the German-speaking countries.<ref name="hpi_data"/>

In 2012, HPI and SAP received the German Innovation Prize (Deutscher Innovationspreis), a prize awarded by Accenture, EnBw, Evonic and Wirtschaftswoche, for the development of the in-memory database SAP HANA.

Notable Alumni

  • Konstantin Haase, open source software developer, known for his work on Sinatra, Rack, Rubinius and Travis CI. Ruby hero award recipient.



External links