Kurt Mehlhorn is a Director of the MPI for Informatics and Professor of Computer Science at Saarland University. He heads the algorithms and complexity group at the MPI for Informatics. He works on data structures and algorithms in a broad sense. He co-authored some 300 publications in the field, published six books, and is one of the people behind the LEDA software library. He supervised more than 80 PhD-students, many of whom have now faculty positions. He has received several prizes (Leibniz Award, Beckurts Award, Zuze Medal, Humboldt Award, EATCS Award, ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea) for his work. He holds Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Magdeburg, Waterloo, Aarhus and Gothenburg universities and is an ACM Fellow. He is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Academia Europaea, the German Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, the US Academy of Engineering, and the US Academy of Science. From 2002 to 2008, he was vice president of the Max Planck Society. He is a co-founder of Algorithmic Solutions Software GmbH.

Research Interests

My work spans theory and engineering. As a theoretician, I design and analyze algorithms for data structuring, problems on graphs, combinatorial optimization, computational geometry, and computer algebra. Highlights of my theoretical work are efficient algorithms for shortest paths, for isolating roots of polynomials, and for computing market equilibria. As an engineer, I turn algorithms into software libraries that are comprehensive, easy-to-use, correct, and efficient. Highlights of my engineering work are the software libraries LEDA and CGAL. The two aspects of my work cross-fertilize. Experience with the implementations raises new theoretical questions and new theoretical insights lead to better programs. The implementations increase the impact of the theoretical work.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 34: Computer and Information Sciences