Pi1 - Lehrstuhl Praktische Informatik I
Data Analysis / Machine Learning, Large Scale Management
University of Mannheim

Members of the Laboratory

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Felix Freiling
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Room Head of Department - Jan 2011
Phone +49-9131-85-25301

I used to head the Chair of Computer Science 1 at University of Mannheim. Since I work in the area of applied computer security and am constantly trying to cover my traces: From 2002 to 2010 I worked at five different universities under two different names.


I have recently joined University of Erlangen, but I will continue to take exams and theses at University of Mannheim throughout 2011.

Felix Freiling's Email Policy

On December 18, 2008 the number of unanswered messages in my email inbox surpassed 1000. I surrender! On christmas day 2008 I decided to change my email handling policy: In the future, I will treat emails more like I treat telephone calls. I will fix a time interval d and after d time I will completely remove all unanswered email from my inbox that is older than d. This means I will most probably not respond anymore to emails that have not been answered in d time. Currently d is one year, but it may be adjusted. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I am now convinced that I cannot continue to treat email the same as I treat postal mail.

Update in April 2009: d is now 6 months.

Update in July 2009: d is now 2 months.

Update in December 2010: d is now 3 weeks.

Images of Felix Freiling

One of the following images shows me (this is to upset google image search).


Students planning an oral examination have the chance to visit such an exam as an observer (Hospitation) beforehand under the condition that they do not disturb the exam and the examined student agrees.

Internship and Employment Opportunities

My lab infrequently offers internships and short or long term employment to interested and well-qualified candidates. I however only reply to normal postal mail or (sometimes) to email which has been sent individually to me. In case you wish to communicate via email and are looking for an internship, please include the code word "ref: nightingale" in the subject of your mail to prove that you prepared an individual email.


Professional activities

Academic Administration/Politics/Honorary Positions

  • 2004-2008: Vorstandsmitglied im GI Beirat der Universitätsprofessoren (GIBU)
  • 2006: Member of the expert commission to evaluate the online voting system for the DFG
  • Sommersemester 2006: Direktor des Instituts für Informatik
  • May 2007-September 2009: Direktor des Instituts für Informatik
  • October 2007: Advisor of the German constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in the public hearing on "Online Durchsuchungen"
  • Sommersemester 2008: Prodekan der Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik
  • Herbstsemester 2008-November 2010: Dekan der Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik
  • June 2009: Advisor of the German constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in the case on "Vorratsdatenspeicherung"

Research Interests

  • Dependable distributed systems (theory and practice)

Reviewed PhD Theses

  • Matthias Meixner: HADES - Eine hochverfügbare Main-Memory Datenbank für eventbasierte Systeme. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer: Prof. Alejandro Buchmann). Defended December 17, 2004, TU Darmstadt.
  • Martin Hutle: Failure Detection in Sparse Networks. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer: Prof. Ulrich Schmid). Defended October 4, 2005, TU Wien.
  • Erik-Oliver Blaß: Sicherer, aggregierender Datentransport in drahtlosen Sensornetzen. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer: Prof. Dr. Martina Zitterbart). Defended April 20, 2007, University of Karlsruhe.
  • Lucia Draque Penso: Distributed Protocols Robust Against Malicious Attacks. (Defense committee member with Prof. Maurice Herlihy and Prof. Anna Lysyanskaya). Defended January 30, 2008. Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
  • Mohammad Torabi Dashti: Keeping Fairness Alive. (Defense committee member, advisor was Prof. Wan Fokkink). Defended Februrary 27, 2008. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • Wei Zhou: Access Control Model and Policies for Collaborative Environments. (External reviewer, first reviewer: Prof. Christoph Meinel.) Defended April 27, 2009, Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), Potsdam.
  • Ionannis Krontiris: Intrusion Prevention and Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Tassos Dimitriou, AIT, Greece). Defended November 13, 2008. University of Mannheim.
  • Zinaida Benenson: Access Control in Wireless Sensor Networks. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Adrian Perrig, CMU). Defended Dec. 19, 2008. University of Mannheim.
  • Oliver Steffen Weiß: A model to quantitavely assess the security of organizations. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer Prof. Dr. K. Meyer-Wegener, Univ. Erlangen). Defended Feb 20, 2009. Univ. Erlangen.
  • Thorsten Holz: Tracking and Mitigation of Malicious Remote Control Networks. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Christopher Kruegel, UCSB). Defended April 30, 2009. University of Mannheim.
  • Frank Werner: Applied Formal Methods in Wireless Sensor Networks. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer Prof. Dr. P. H. Schmitt, Univ. of Karlsruhe). Defended July 22, 2009. Univ. of Karlsruhe.
  • Timo Warns: Structural Failure Models for Fault-Tolerant Distributed Computing. (3rd reviewer, 1st and 2nd reviewers Prof. Dr. Oliver Theel, University of Oldenburg, Prof. Dr. Willi Hasselbring, University of Kiel). Defended Sept, 28, 2009. University of Oldenburg.
  • Michael Becher: Security of Smartphones at the Dawn of Their Ubiquitousness. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Dr. Ulrike Meyer, RWTH Aachen). Defended October 9, 2009. University of Mannheim.
  • Martin Mink: Vergleich von Lehransätzen für die Ausbildung in IT-Sicherheit. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Dr. Simone Fischer-Hübner, Karlstad University, Sweden). Defended Dec 11, 2009. University of Mannheim.
  • Moritz Martens: Properties of Interaction Systems. (2nd reviewer, 1st reviewer Prof. Dr. Mila Majster-Cederbaum, University of Mannheim). Defended Dec 18, 2009. University of Mannheim.
  • Roberto Cortinas: Failure Detectors and Communication Efficiency in the Crash and General Omission Failure Models. (Member of defense committee, advisors: Prof. Alberto Laufente, Prof. Iratxe Soraluze, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain) Defended April 4, 2011. University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain.
  • Jan Gerrit Göbel: Large-Scale Detection and Measurement of Malicious Content. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Christopher Krügel, UCSB) Defended April 27, 2011. University of Mannheim.
  • Michael Müter: Embedded Security Concepts for In-Verhicle Systems. (1st reviewer, 2nd reviewer Prof. Frank Kargl, University of Twente) Defended May 27, 2011. University of Mannheim.

Reviewed Habilitation Theses

  • Dr. Guido Schryen: An analysis of anti-spam measures and the conceptual design of a technological and organizational infrastructure framework for tackling spam e-mails. RWTH Aachen, 2007.

List of Diploma Student Placements

This list will probably move to a different location soon. It should give an insight into the type of employment which our diploma students typically do. It is meant as a feedback for prospective diploma students and as a form of controlling for us.

  • Marc Albertz (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by Accenture
  • Matthias Majuntke (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), started PhD at TU Darmstadt
  • Thorsten Holz (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), started PhD at University of Mannheim
  • Hans-Georg Eßer (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2005), continues to work as editor for EasyLinux and Linux Magazin
  • Tobias Hülsdau (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by Leano Media
  • Andreas Sensen (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by T-Com
  • Michael Becher (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), started PhD at University of Mannheim
  • Andreas Tielmann (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), started PhD at University of Paris 7
  • Bastian Schwittay (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006) hired by Symantec
  • Sven Henkel (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by SAP
  • Samad Nasserian (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by SAP
  • Peter Cholewinski (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2005), hired by SAP
  • Nils Gedicke (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2005), hired by Siemens
  • Robert Heracles (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by ESE GmbH Braunschweig
  • Joachim Wieland (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2006), hired by SAP
  • Boris Leidner (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007)
  • Jens Liebchen (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007) runs RedTeam Pentesting
  • Michael Schüler (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), hired by Cisco Systems
  • Christian Hönig (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), hired by iDev
  • Marjan Ghajar-Azadanlou (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007)
  • Michael Müter (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), hired by DaimlerChrysler Research
  • Klaus Kröner (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), hired by Atos Worldline, Aachen
  • Frank van der Beek (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), started at Bundesstelle für Informationstechnik, BVA Köln
  • Christian Mertens (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), hired by ComConsult Beratung und Planung GmbH, Aachen
  • Ali Ikinci (Diploma Uni Mannheim, 2007), hired by ContentKeeper Technologies
  • Christian Lambertz (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2007), started PhD at University of Mannheim
  • Frank Zimmer (Bachelor Uni Mannheim, 2007), started joint Master programme at FH Mannheim and PH Heidelberg
  • Marek Jawurek (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2008), hired by Fraunhofer IESE, Kaiserslautern
  • Markus de Brün (Diploma RWTH Aachen, 2008), hired by BSI, Referat für Internetsicherheit, Bonn
  • Jörg Lenz (Bachelor Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by Erdt Systems GmbH
  • Jan Joy (Diplom Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by mindsquare GmbH
  • Sebastian Kreuther (Bachelor Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by Rechenzentrum der Universität Mannheim
  • Sebastian Hajok (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by Deutsche Börse AG
  • Thomas Badura (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by Communology.com
  • Jose Marquez (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2008), hired by SAP
  • Ernest Hammerschmidt (Diploma, RWTH Aachen, 2009), hired by secunet AG
  • Hanno Middelhaufe (Diploma, RWTH Aachen, 2009), hired by ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG
  • Alexander Pfister (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2009), hired by Universität Mannheim
  • Romi Sorge (Bachelor, Uni Mannheim, 2009), started Master in Computer Science at Uni Bremen
  • Felix Gröbert (Diploma, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2010), hired by Google Zürich, Switzerland
  • Simon Schork (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2010), hired by Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH, Bad Schönborn
  • Johannes Grohmüller (Bachelor, Uni Mannheim, 2011), hired by Tectum IT Solutions
  • Alexander Knaus (Diploma, Uni Mannheim, 2011), hired by SAP AG

If you wish your name to be added to the list, contact me.

Collection of famous citations

"Neuinstallieren skaliert nicht." (Thorsten Holz, June 18, 2008)

"People have said that computing is a fast moving subject and what they mean is that the wheel of re-incarnation goes faster."
(Roger Needham)

My GPG Public Key

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (MingW32)



My Erdös number is at most 4 (the path is via Shmuel Zaks, Hagit Attiya, Rachid Guerraoui). If you work in fault-tolerant distributed computing and want to know your Erdös number, check your collaboration distance to (for example) Shay Kutten, Shlomo Moran, Nicola Santoro or Gerard Tel; all have Erdös number 2.

My h-index is at least 20 (using Harzing's PoP application).

My most often cited paper is the 1999 ACM Computing Surveys article "Fundmentals of fault-tolerant distributed computing in asynchronous environments" (until 2010 around 200 citations).