Some Experiences and Guidelines

Christian Posthoff

Looking back over so many years in science, there are some insights that can be considered as crucial.

You must enjoy the work in education

It was always a great pleasure to help other people, young as well as old, to improve their education. To get deeper insights into a field, to get a better job, to have a better professional background - these are goals that have to be supported all the time. You only get a complete understanding of a field if you can explain it to somebody else.

Mathematics as a strong background for the application of Computer Science and for problem-solving in general.

When I started as a student there was no possibility to study Computer Science or Informatics. I selected Mathematics not really knowing which possibilities result out of such a degree. Over the period from 1963 to 1968, however, there was a strong development in this area, and the first software companies showed up. Suddenly the skills of a mathematician could be used. And there was a second property that could be used. Mathematics was also a strong support for the solution of problems in many fields of science and technology. The mathematical modelling of problems and thereafter the solution of the problems by using Mathematics was more and more important, mainly by using computers. A combined approach was more and more important:
  1. the real-world problem;
  2. the mathematical modelling of the problem;
  3. the solution of the problem by means of algorithms and software;
  4. the interpretation of the results.
Nowadays many areas of Science and Technology are completely in the hands of Computers.

The willingness for permanent further education.

There was an absolute necessity to upgrade one´s education. Programming languages and technologies emerged very fast, and it was always necessary to handle all these developments efficiently.