8 March 2021

New head of the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen


Jakob Grue Simonsen, professor at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen (DIKU), has been appointed head of the Department of Computer Science from 1 April 2021.

Photo of Jakob Grue Simonsen

An extremely inspirational teacher capable of attracting the right parts of his mathematical curiosity became the deciding factor in Jakob Grue Simonsen’s choice of study programme: Computer science won his full attention.

In 2001, he earned his master’s degree in computer science at the University of Copenhagen, and after a year working as a software engineer in the corporate sector, Jakob Grue Simonsen returned to the University to study for a PhD in computer science.  After completing his PhD, he pursued the academic career path at DIKU, first as a postdoc in 2005, then becoming assistant professor in 2006, associate professor in 2010 and professor in 2015. In 2008, he added a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Edinburgh Business School to the mix. At the Department of Computer Science, he has also served as deputy head of department for research from 2012 to 2015, and since 2018 he has been the head of section for Programming Languages and Theory of Computation.

For many years now, we have seen an increasing demand for computer science competencies in society and businesses. As head of department, Jakob Grue Simonsen’s main focus will be on ensuring that the department is capable of meeting this societal need while securing the space for researchers to conduct research and create the computer science results needed in the future.

Furthermore, he would like DIKU and colleagues from partner universities to combine their skills and establish themselves as a centre of excellence, becoming the preferred partner of businesses as well as authorities in need of world-class computer science know-how.

Jakob Grue Simonsen replaces Professor Mads Nielsen, who, after five productive years as head of DIKU, has returned to his professorship in Computer Vision at the department.

- In recent years, the Department of Computer Science has distinguished itself as a very strong research institution, nationally as well as internationally. Jakob Grue Simonsen thus becomes head of a rapidly developing department where he’ll use his extensive knowledge and experience within the area to further this development. I’m convinced that he’s the right person for the job, and I very much look forward to our cooperation, says Katrine Krogh Andersen, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen.