What's my name?

Academic degrees can be complicated to compare between different research cultures and countries, that’s why I would like to briefly explain:

  • I am Diplom-Informatiker. Nowadays, in Europe, most degrees are Bachelor or Master degrees, but before that has been introduced, the Master of Science equivalent was the “Diplom” (Master of Arts was roughly “Magister”). Therefore, you can read this as “Master of Science in Computer Science”.
  • I am Dr. rer. nat. – Doctor rerum naturalium. That is a degree. A Dr. is very much the same as a Ph.D. The abbreviation behind specifies the field. The actual topic is not specified in this abbreviation (a biologist has the same abbreviation as a physicist). Therefore, you can read this as “Ph.D. in computer science” (as this is where I did my degree).
  • I am Akademischer Oberrat. That is my job position. The title of a professor is something that you mostly get (there are exceptions) as a full professor. However, this is a public servant tenured researcher position. Therefore, you can roughly read this as “Senior Lecturer” (UK et al.) or “Associate Professor” (US et al.), but you would not call me professor.
  • I am Privatdozent. Funnily, with my position as a Senior Lecturer, I did not get the right to examine Ph.D. students. I needed to do my habilitation, and then got this title of “Privatdozent”. This gives me (nearly) the same rights in teaching and examining students as full professors have.