Following the model of the mathematical center at Oberwolfach, the center is installed in a very remote and relaxed location in the countryside. The Leibniz Center is located in a historic country house, Schloss Dagstuhl (Dagstuhl Castle), together with modern purpose-built buildings connected by an enclosed footbridge.
The ruins of the 13th-century Dagstuhl Castle are nearby, a short walk up a hill from the Schloss.
The Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (LZI, Leibniz Center for Informatics) was established at Dagstuhl in 1990. The center is managed as a non-profit organization, and financed by national funds. It receives scientific support by a variety of German and foreign research institutions. Until April 2008 the name of the center was: International Conference and Research Center for Computer Science (German: Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum für Informatik (IBFI)). The center was founded by Reinhard Wilhelm, who continued as its director until May 2014, when Raimund Seidel became the director.
Dagstuhl's computer science library has over 50,000 books and other media, among them a full set of Springer-Verlag's Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series and electronic access to many computer science journals.
Dagstuhl supports computer science by organizing high ranked seminars on hot topics in informatics. Dagstuhl Seminars, which are established after review and approval by the Scientific Directorate, bring together personally invited scientists from academia and industry from all over the world to discuss their newest ideas and problems. As part of the Dagstuhl seminars, the center hosts summer schools, group retreats, and other scientific conferences, all discussing informatics. Every year about 3,500 scientists stay in Dagstuhl for about 100 conferences and workshops. The number of participants is limited to enable discussion and by the available housing capacity. The stay is full-board; participants are accommodated in the original house or in the modern annex, and have all their meals at the center. Seminars are usually held for a weekly period: participants arrive on Sunday evening and depart on Friday evening or Saturday morning. One or sometimes two seminars are held simultaneously with other small meetings.
Cryptographic technique DP5 (Dagstuhl Privacy Preserving Presence Protocol P) is named after Schloss Dagstuhl.
As well as publishing proceedings from its own seminars, the Leibniz Center publishes the Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), a series of open access conference proceedings from computer science conferences worldwide. Conferences published in this series include the Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS), held annually in Germany and France, the conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS), held annually in south Asia, the Computational Complexity Conference (CCC), held at a different international venue each year, the Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG), and the International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP).
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