Best for Informatics

The University of Bergen’s Department of Informatics has been rated the best of its kind in Norway. The Department is also internationally recognised.

Institutt for informatikk får gode karakterar i ei avluering av norsk IKT...
Institutt for informatikk får gode karakterar i ei avluering av norsk IKT-forsking

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This is the conclusion in a report from a panel of international experts.

– We have an amazing and skilled team of people, who are highly motivated and who use their knowledge to the best of their abilities. This is well-deserved feedback to our hard-working staff, Petter Bjørstad says. He heads the Department of Informatics at the University of Bergen (UiB).

On behalf of the Research Council of Norway, an international panel of experts has evaluated Norwegian Information and Computer Technology (ICT) research. The expert panel’s conclusion is that UiB’s Department of Informatics rates top in the country.

Two of the research groups – Algorithms and Reliable communication – get the top grade of 5 out of 5, and the Visualisation Group receives the grade 4-5. The average for the department’s five groups is 4.4 out of 5.

Breakthrough Bergen

The international panel describes the department as «very good to excellent» and believes that several groups have distinguished themselves internationally.

A similar evaluation was last made ten years ago. Since then the department has made great progress and the Visualisation Group didn’t even exist back then.

– The group has really put Bergen on the map as a centre for visualisation work. In other words, there has been a development from zero to international acclaim in a very short space of time, Bjørstad says.

International impact

He believes there are a number of reasons for the quality of the department’s research. One of them being dedication to recruiting the best researchers in their field, with both a local and an international outreach. The majority of researchers at the department are from outside of Norway.

– To compete internationally we have to look beyond borders. We also appreciate the diversity in our workplace, Bjørstad says.

Students are key to success

The evaluation does however also point out some fields for improvement, in particular internal communication and communication with other research communities. According to Bjørstad, the department plans to evaluate this feedback and follow this up with concrete measures.

He suggests that any research community can improve and believes that the key issue is to recruit the brightest students.

– Good students stimulate good research. It’s as simple as that. Many believe that to study mathematics or informatics, you need to attend the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). But this evaluation shows that UiB clearly is the place for those who want to study algorithms or visualisation, Bjørstad says in closing.