Press Release

In-Memory Database: Hasso Plattner’s New MOOC on openHPI

Potsdam. Extensive worldwide interest in the new main memory database technology has led the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) to offer a further open online course on this topic. The course, to be held in English, will begin on September 1 on the interactive learning platform open.hpi.de. Leading the latest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is Prof. Hasso Plattner, the co-founder and Supervisory Board chairman of the software giant SAP and founder and benefactor of HPI. The in-memory data management researched and developed with SAP enables the flexible and lighting fast evaluation of huge amounts of data – a process that used to take hours or days.

“Since its start in fall 2012, in-memory data management has been enthusiastically welcomed by the 32,000 registered openHPI users. Main memory database technology has garnered an impressive amount of interest,” said the HPI founder. More than 4,500 participants successfully completed the two courses and earned a certificate. “High participation, with especially strong student interaction has shown massive open online courses to be groundbreaking in IT education,” said Plattner. The interactive learning offers in combination with a lively exchange of knowledge on a social platform have been very well received.  

Plattner‘s latest online course (registration at www.open.hpi.de/courses/imdb2014) is the updated and further advanced version of the two offers presented up to now. The first course launched the Internet educational platform on September 3, 2012, with the second course following in August 2013. A special focus is now put on the organization of data into active and historical sections as well as the application of the new technology in different areas of industry. The course offers over 30 learning videos from Plattner and his team, comprehensive reading material for a deepening of the material, online tests to self-check learning progress, homework and an online final exam. 

openHPI: Modelled on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Participation in the open online courses on information technology is completely free of charge at openHPI – without any admission requirements. As so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), the courses are embedded in an interactive learning network. This means that every participant is able to engage in content-related interchange with the professors, their research assistants and other users.

HPI’s Internet learning platform offers five free, open-access online courses per year to a large number of participants. In the meantime, approximately 57,128 interested online learners from over 140 countries have registered at open.HPI. The platform is unique worldwide with its focus on information technology and computer science and the fact that its course are taught in German, English and Chinese (www.openhpi.cn). Ten openHPI courses are already available to all in the archive mode. The platform follows in the footsteps of “massive open online courses,” as offered since 2011, initially at Stanford University and then at other elite universities in the United States.

In contrast to “traditional“ lecture portals, courses at openHPI follow a fixed six-week syllabus with a defined set of educational content, such as instructional videos, texts, self-tests, regular homework and exam questions. These offerings are integrated into a social platform where participants have the opportunity to interact with instructors and fellow learners by getting answers to questions and discussing topics in depth. Participants are free to decide themselves about the type and extent of their learning activities. They can make their own contributions to the course, for instance in blog posts or tweets, which they can refer to in the forum. Other learners then have the opportunity to comment on, discuss or expand on what has been said. Thus learners, teachers and contents become linked in a social learning network.

Profile of Hasso Plattner Institute

The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering GmbH (www.hpi.de), at the University of Potsdam, is Germany’s university excellence center for IT Systems Engineering. It is the only university institution in Germany offering the bachelor and master program in “IT Systems Engineering” – a practical and engineering-oriented study program in computer science, in which 470 students are presently enrolled. The HPI School of Design Thinking is Europe’s first innovation school and modeled on the Stanford University d.school. It offers 240 places yearly for a supplementary study.

There are a total of ten HPI professors and over 50 guest professors, lecturers and contracted teachers at the Institute. HPI carries out research noted for its high standard of excellence in its nine topic areas, as well as at the HPI Research School for PhD candidates, with its further branches in Cape Town, Haifa and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focuses on the foundation and application of large-scale, highly complex and networked IT systems. The development and exploration of user-driven innovations for all areas of life is an additional field of importance. HPI always earns the highest positions in the CHE university ranking.