Mission Statement



"Man is most free when his tools are proportionate to his needs."

[Soetsu Yanagi - The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, 1972]

Like many  areas of life today, current scientific research is characterized by an increasing trend toward digitalization; that is, the collection, storage, processing and distribution of data, information and knowledge by means of computer systems.

For tasks which are related to the organization and management of research, or to scientific collaboration and the publication of results, this trend holds true in general for all fields of science.

There are, however, areas in modern research, like high energy physics, computational biology, astrophysics, climate research and many others, where scientific progress is directly dependent on the availability of most advanced and powerful computer systems.

At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), where numerical experiments and data analysis conducted on advanced computer systems form   - alongside theory - the basis of research, this is indeed the case.

At PIK the information technology (IT) infrastructure, that is the entirety of computers, storage media, data networks, system and application software, may be seen as a unique, complex and valuable scientific instrument.

Scientists need this instrument to create and further develop mathematical models, covering various aspect of the earth system and human society as well as the interactions between both. These models are translated into algorithms and in turn into program code in order to be used for numerical experimentation or data analysis.

It is the task of the IT Services Group  (ITS) to design, maintain and further develop this important scientific instrument.

The main objective of the group is to support science by providing a comprehensive set of IT services, available to all scientists, guests and collaborators of the institute, which shall be balanced, resilient, flexible, efficient, secure and easy to use.

Karsten Kramer