The current Humboldt ranking lists the German research institutions and cities that are leading in the international contest for the best minds. Heidelberg is particularly successful: 274 scholars and award winners have worked at the University and the surrounding research institutions in the last five years. The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) welcomed a total of five scholars – a remarkable figure given the size of the institute: around 100 scientists work in 10 research groups that are concerned with areas, in which large amounts of data are processed, from astrophysics to cell biology. The professional reputation of HITS scientists – the group leaders Volker Springel and Tilmann Gneiting are among the world’s most cited scientists – will continue to influence the decision-making of international top researchers.
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.