Development of the Department

Main content

With the foundation of a separate division IIIC, the discipline of computer science was discharged from the organizational requirements of mathematics IX and electrical engineering IIIB. A major highlight of this increase in self-governance occurred in 1984, when the first twenty computer science engineers were issued diplomas upon their graduation from ETH Zurich. At about the same time, the association of computer science students (VIS) was founded. This association had the right to attend the department's commission for education as well as organize the "Kontaktparty", a platform to establish contact between computer science students and businesses, in the context of the mandatory fifth-semester internship.

The number of computer science students rapidly increased each year and reached an initial peak at the end of the 1980s. Evidently, the study program was in strong demand among high school graduates.

In 1988, the new building for computer science (IFW, Clausius street) was inaugurated, creating a nexus for computer science activities at ETH. The existing research unit was renamed to the Department of Computer Science and divided into four institutes:

  • Institute for Computer Systems
  • Institute for Theoretical Computer Science
  • Institute for Computational Science
  • Institute for Information Systems

At the same time, ETH Zurich began to introduce departments, initially only to coordinate the research activities of these different institutes. In 1996, the department was merged with the division IIIC into a single organization forming today's Department of Computer Science. Currently, the department includes 29 professors from more than 10 countries, more than 200 PhD students, over 50 Postdocs and research assistants, and some 1’500 students.

Overview of the study structure in computer science (1981)  
Overview of the study structure in computer science (1981)
Page URL:
Fri Apr 28 17:57:10 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich