## In memoriam of Prof. Dr. Ingo Wegener, 1950—2008Ingo Wegener passed away on November 26, 2008, after a three-year struggle with brain cancer. A farewell celebration was held in Bielefeld on December 4, the day on which Ingo would have turned 58. This is a tremendous loss for all those who knew him personally, for Computer Science in Germany, in Europe, and in the world at large, and for many other communities in which he played a prominent role. Ingo is survived by his wife, Christa. Ingo studied mathematics at the University of Bielefeld, where he graduated with a “Diplom” in 1976, received his PhD in 1978, with a thesis on circuit complexity, and obtained his “Habilitation” in 1981. He held a professorship in computer science in Frankfurt am Main from 1980 to 1987, when he became a full professor of Computer Science (in the area of Efficient Algorithms and Complexity Theory) at the Technische Universität Dortmund, the position he held until his death. Ingo had an amazing talent for identifying interesting research areas and for asking exactly the right questions. More often than not, he also came up with the answers himself, by providing novel and efficient algorithms and proof techniques. His versatility and comprehensive knowledge in many different areas was astounding. Many younger researchers will know Ingo from his work in the years starting from the early 1990s, when he started to work in a newly created research area which might be called “Formal analysis of metaheuristics”. It was his conviction that the huge field of optimization algorithms based on metaheuristics like Evolutionary Algorithms, Simulated Annealing, and so on, should be studied using the methods from the theory of efficient algorithms and complexity theory. Previously, the standard approach to measuring the efficiency of the heuristics had been to simply implement them and run tests. This new, theoretical, approach turned out to bevery fruitful, yielding a much deeper understanding of the limitations of such metaheuristics. It was documented in a large number of scientific papers by Ingo, by members of his research group, by his scientific cooperators in Germany and abroad, and many others.
The basis of all these formally acknowledgeable and countable achievements was the fact that Ingo was simply as devoted a scientist as he was a teacher. He could not help but search for new questions to answer. Dealing with him was pleasurable, because of his calm and pragmatic way of approaching issues, and because of his open and friendly manner. Ingo will be missed by many – students, colleagues, and friends – and for quite a few students and colleagues he was a friendand an important source of thoughtful advice over the years. But he will also live on – in the results of his work, but also in the minds of all those who had the fortune to work with him. |