"Es ist nicht genug, dass man etwas erfindet, man muss auch merken, dass man etwas erfunden hat."

(Karl Steinbuch, Gründer des Instituts 1958)

The history of the ITIV


The institute was founded in 1958 under the name Institute for Communications Processing and Communications Transmission.


Leading staff

The founding director from 1958 to 1980 was Karl Steinbuch, Professor of Communications Processing and Communications Transmission. In 1974, Karl Steinbuch took a leave of absence to devote himself to his literary activities. Hans Martin Lipp was appointed director of the institute for the period from April 1 to September 30, 1974. Steinbuch ended his teaching activities at the end of the 1979/1980 winter semester. In 1981, Prof. Utz Baitinger and Prof. Hans Martin Lipp were appointed to head the institute on a collegial basis.

On 13 October 2017, the Institute of Information Processing Technology (ITIV) commemorated its founder Karl Steinbuch, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 15 June 2017, with an event in his honor ( see https://www.itiv.kit.edu/5824.php)


Organizational history

The institute was initially housed in the attic of the Electrotechnical Institute at Akademiestrasse 5 and in two apartments in Amalienstraße. In 1962, the institute moved into the new building at Engesserstrasse 5.


The staff included members of several research groups, such as those for image processing and character recognition, for technical forecasting and for acoustics. In 1961, the Extraordinariat for Communication Systems was established, which was spun off as the Institute for Communication Systems in 1965. In September 1971, the Research Group for Image Processing was separated from the Institute, incorporated into the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Astrophysikalischen Forschung e.V., Bonn, and has since been known as the "Research Group for Information Processing and Pattern Recognition" (FIM).
From 1971 onwards, the name of the institute was changed to the Institute for Communications Processing and Communications Engineering alongside the name Institute for Communications Processing and Communications Transmission. In 1974, the name of the institute was shortened to the Institute for Information Processing. In 1982, the name was changed to the Institute for Information Processing Technology.


Mission statement

The institute's initial task was to establish the then current communications engineering and, in particular, data processing at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. In the first 15 years, special fields of work were automatic character recognition and the so-called 'learning matrix'. At the beginning of the 1970s, work shifted to the theory of switching systems.


The field of activity of the image processing working group focused primarily on pattern recognition and automatic aerial image analysis, especially for military applications. The changes associated with the spin-off of this research group made it possible to expand the area of design automation. The traditional switching theory was gradually phased out and work focused more on highly integrated circuits. With the increase in microprocessors and microcomputers, work was carried out on procedures for their design and on the development of programs for their operation.



Source: KIT archive



“Irrespective of his scientific achievements, KIT distanced itself from Karl Steinbuch in November 2023. In this connection, KIT decided to rename its information technology center Scientific Computing Center (previously Steinbuch Centre for Computing). This decision is based on latest findings of historian A. Guhl, according to which Karl Steinbuch advocated unacceptable acts of war as a young man during the Nazi era. After his retirement, Steinbuch increasingly adopted extreme right-wing positions.” (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

Link to the press release