Prof. Dr. Tobias Friedrich

Algorithm Engineering Group

The Chair for Algorithm Engineering was established at the Hasso Plattner Institute in April 2015. It is led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Friedrich. The group currently hosts around thirty researchers. Our offices are located on the second floor of building K of the HPI on Campus Griebnitzsee, Potsdam. The following video gives an overview of our current research and teaching activities.


Our research focus is on theoretical computer science and algorithm engineering. We are equally interested in the mathematical foundations of algorithms and developing efficient algorithms in practice. The list below gives an overview of our research topics. Further details can be found on our project and our publications pages.

  • Randomness: Some problems can provably be solved faster by using randomness. We are interested in random processes, randomized algorithms and probabilistic methods. A special focus is on quasirandomness and finding the right dose of randomness for efficient algorithms.
  • Networks: Large real-world networks have a number of distinct properties. We study different models of scale-free graphs and analyze the behavior of (distributed) algorithms on such network models.
  • Optimization: Difficult optimization problems are typically modeled as a black-box problems and are popularly solved by bio-inspired algorithms. We employ theoretical analyzes in order to understand the success of evolutionary and swarm intelligence algorithms on such problems.
  • Complexity: We work on combining the notions of parameterized complexity and randomized complexity. A further interest is in understanding the complexity of computational learning, including limit learning and stochastic learning.


We offer lectures, seminars and projects on theoretical computer science and algorithm engineering. In the Bachelor program we are responsible for the core courses Theoretical Computer Science I and II as well as Mathematics II. For 3rd year Bachelor and Master students we also offer more advanced courses. For details see our teaching page. Students interested in our work are also very welcome to attend our regular research seminar. On a more applied level, we also offer a one-year bachelor project in cooperation with an industrial partner.

Job Offers

Our group in Potsdam is still growing. For more information on open positions, see here. Our next opening for a PhD student or postdoc position ends March 2023.

Mathematical Beauty

Some beautiful non-random structure: The following picture is the result of a deterministic random walk of one billion particles that start at the origin and walk until they find an empty cell. For more detailed explanations on the rotor-router model see here, for some more examples see here.