Logic and
Theory of
Discrete Systems

Informatik 7

Wolfgang Thomas



Postal Address RWTH Aachen, Lehrstuhl für Informatik 7, 52056 Aachen
Office Room 41087b, Ahornstr. 55, 52074 Aachen
Phone +49 (241) 80 21710
Fax +49 (241) 80 22215
Email thomas(at)automata.rwth-aachen.de
Office Hour Mondays 13:00-14:00


My main interest is the development of automata theory as a framework for modelling, analyzing, verifying, and synthesizing systems. This includes

  • Generalized models of automata (over trees, pictures, relational structures)
  • Automata over infinite words and trees
  • The relation between automata and logical systems
  • The effective theory of infinite games
  • Infinite automata and applications in the verification of infinite systems

Other interests are questions of the history and methodology of computer science.

Essays and Speeches (partly in German)

Selected Publications

List of publications at DBLP

Selected Talks


My advanced courses (from 3rd semester onwards) are

  • Applied Automata Theory
  • Infinite Computations
  • Infinite Games
  • Regular and Context-Free Languages: Advanced Results
  • History of Ideas of Informatics
  • Recursion Theory

Further Activities

  • Speaker of the DFG Research Training Group AlgoSyn (since 2006)
  • Speaker of the Section "Foundations of Computer Science" of the GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik)
  • Chairman of the Senate of RWTH Aachen (2008-2012)
  • Member of Council of EATCS - European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (2003-2010)
  • Member of Editorial Board of
    • Leibniz International Procedings in Informatics (LIPiCS)
    • Logical Methods in Computer Science (2005-2012)
    • RAIRO Theoretical Informatics and Applications (2000-2012)
    • Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (1997-2012)
    • ACM Transactions of Computational Logic (2000-2010)
    • Theoretical Computer Science (1998-2006)
  • Dean of Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (2004-2006)
  • Vice-Dean of Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (2002-2004)
  • Speaker of the Group of Computer Science, RWTH Aachen (2000-2002)
  • Chairman of Referee Board of Computer Science, German Science Foundation DFG (2000-2004)
  • Delegate of Computer Science of RWTH at IDEA-League (2001-2005)

Curriculum Vitae

1947 born in Naumburg/Saale
1954-66 School education in Göttingen, Hannover, Celle (Lower Saxony)
1966-68 Military service
1968-71 Study of Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy at University of Freiburg
1971-72 M.Sc. Course in Mathematical Logic, University of Bristol, UK
M.Sc. of University of Bristol
1973-82 Scientific employee at University of Freiburg
1975 Promotion to Dr. rer. nat., University of Freiburg
1980 Habilitation in Mathematics, University of Freiburg
1982-89 Assoc. Professor of Computer Science, RWTH Aachen
1989-98 Full Professor of Computer Science, University of Kiel
1998- Full Professor of Computer Science, RWTH Aachen
2005 Doctor honoris causa of École Normale Supérieure de Cachan
2006 Member of Academia Europaea
2013 Doctor honoris causa of Université de Mons
2014 Fellow of the EATCS (European Association for Theoretical Computer Science)
2014 Fellow of GI (Gesellschaft für informatik)
2016 Emeritus of Computer Science Department, RWTH Aachen