ERC Advanced Grant for BMS Faculty Member Bruno Klingler
On 22 April 2021, the European Research Council (ERC) announced which innovative research projects will be funded by the ERC Advanced Grant for established researchers. Out of 2678 proposals from across Europe and all scientific disciplines, only 209 projects (8%) were approved; these projects will be funded with in total 507 million euro over a five-year period.
The project “Tame geometry and transcendence in Hodge theory” (TameHodge) by Bruno Klingler will be funded by the ERC with more than 1.8 million euro. The project plans to attack fundamental questions in Hodge theory using tools coming from mathematical logic.
Hodge theory, as developed around the 1970s, has become the main tool for understanding the geometry and arithmetic of complex algebraic varieties, that is, solution sets of algebraic equations over the complex numbers. It can be thought as a dramatic linearisation, which associates to any complex algebraic variety a very simple object: a finite dimensional complex vector space, which encodes the periods of differential forms on the variety. At the heart of the theory lies the fundamental fact that, although Hodge’s theory produces very simple objects, it is not itself given by a simple algebraic recipe but requires transcendental operations. However, two major conjectures in mathematics, the Hodge conjecture and the Grothendieck period conjecture, predict that this transcendence is severely constrained.
Recent work of Prof. Klingler and his collaborators has shown the emergence of a spectacular link between Hodge theory and tame geometry. Tame geometry, whose possibility was suggested by Grothendieck in the 1980s and developed by logicians under the name o-minimal geometry, studies structures where every definable set has a finite geometric complexity. The goal of the project TameHodge is to show that moderate geometry is the natural framework for Hodge theory—with major applications to the transcendence of periods, atypical intersections, and non-abelian Hodge theory.
Since 2017, Bruno Klingler is professor for Algebraic Geometry at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; as such he is one of 20 Einstein professors. Furthermore, Prof. Klingler is a MATH+ member and a faculty member of the Berlin Mathematical School. Before moving to Berlin, Bruno Klingler was a full professor at the Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu-Paris Rive Gauche (IMJ-PRG), Université Paris, as well as assistant professor at University of Chicago and Yale University.
Honoring Jürg Kramer
MATH+ takes this opportunity to wish Jürg Kramer all the best for a happy 65th birthday! His outstanding commitment to Berlin mathematics and to young mathematicians within MATHEON, the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS), DZLM and MATH+ make him one of our most highly valued members.
Born in Switzerland on 3 June 1956, he started his mathematical career at the University of Basel, where he got his diploma in mathematics with minors in physics and astronomy in 1980 and received his doctorate under Martin Eichler in 1985. Postdoc positions took him to the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, to Harvard University, the MSRI, Universität Wuppertal, and to ETH Zurich, where he completed his habilitation in 1993. In 1994, he accepted the offer of a professorship at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin).
After his arrival in Berlin, Jürg Kramer soon took on essential leadership roles. He was deputy director and director of the Institute of Mathematics at HU Berlin from 1998 to 2008. A member of the DFG Research Center Matheon since its founding in 2002, he served on the MATHEON Executive Board from 2007 to 2014. He was also one of the founding fathers of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) and has served as chair or co-chair since 2006. In 2013, he was one of the initiators of the Einstein Center for Mathematics ECMath, where he also served on the Executive Board.
From 2013 to 2014, Jürg Kramer served as President of the German Mathematical Society (DMV). He is a member of the European Mathematical Society, the Academia Europea, Acatech, and INNOMATH – a European initiative to support highly gifted high school students.
Throughout his career, Jürg Kramer has been devoted not only to mathematics itself but also to the education and training of mathematics teachers and the advancement of mathematically talented and interested school pupils, students, and teachers – from elementary schools to doctoral researchers. Moreover, his research group aims to make current mathematical developments accessible to the public at large. This commitment is expressed in his engagement in the Berlin network of STEM schools at HU Berlin (Berliner Netzwerk mathematisch naturwissenschaftlicher Schulen) as well as his support for the “Mathematical Kangaroo” (Känguru der Mathematik), the largest international mathematics competition for school children, which is based at the Institute of Mathematics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
In 2010, a group of experts convened by the Deutsche Telekom Foundation (DTS) proposed a national advanced training center for mathematics as an important building block in its recommendations on Mathematik entlang der Bildungskette (“Mathematics along the educational chain”). As a result, the DTS issued a call for applications providing funding for five years to establish such a center. Based on his project Mathematik anders machen (“Doing Mathematics Differently”) Jürg Kramer organized a consortium of universities, which submitted the winning proposal. Thus, the Deutsches Zentrum für Lehrerbildung Mathematik (DZLM) was founded in October 2011. Jürg Kramer has been the Director of DZLM since the beginning and saw the DZLM find a permanent home as part of a new department Fachbezogener Erkenntnistransfer (“Subject-Specific Transfer of Knowledge”) of the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) Kiel in 2020. He is now director of the department.
The success story of DZLM would have been impossible without Jürg Kramer’s experience in large collaborative projects like MATHEON, BMS, ECMath, and MATH+, his strong commitment, his excellent networking and communication skills and not least at all his personality and respectful attitude to other people.
In addition to his numerous engagements, Jürg Kramer is also an outstanding researcher, with interests in number theory, automorphic forms, and arithmetic geometry. He chaired two DFG Research Training Groups Arithmetic and Geometry (2004-2009) and Moduli and Automorphic Forms (2012-2016). Anna von Pippich elaborates on Jürg Kramer’s research.
Last but not least, Jürg Kramer is a key member of the Berlin Mathematics Research Center MATH+ and contributed an important part to the successful application for MATH+ in the framework of the German Excellence Strategy. With all his energy and commitments, Jürg Kramer has significantly contributed to the shape of the mathematical landscape in Berlin and has helped to make it an internationally attractive destination for study and research. Due to his efforts, there are many mathematicians around the world who owe their education to Berlin mathematics!
Dear Jürg, MATH+ wishes you a happy birthday and we look forward to working together on many more activities!
Two BMS Alumni receive Berlin’s Tiburtius awards 2020
We are delighted to announce that two alumni of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) were among this year's Tiburtius award winners for their excellent dissertations.
Josué Tonelli Cueto received the third prize for his dissertation on "Condition and Homology in Semialgebraic Geometry". He completed his PhD under the joint supervision of Peter Bürgisser and Felipe Cucker (City U Hong Kong) and graduated from TU Berlin in 2019 with summa cum laude.
Marcin Lara, who graduated in 2019 from Freie Universität Berlin was awarded the recognition prize for his dissertation on "Homotopy Exact Sequence for the Pro-Étale Fundamental Group" under the supervision of Hélène Esnault.
Each year, the State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Berlin's Universities (Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen LKRP) awards three prizes and three recognition awards to doctoral students at Berlin universities for outstanding dissertations. The prize is named after Professor Joachim Tiburtius, who was Senator for Education in Berlin from 1951 to 1963.
Information about the Tiburtius Prize. Eligible for nomination are the professors of Berlin universities.
Press announcement (in German)
Jürg Kramer New BMS Chair
Jürg Kramer, professor of mathematics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), is the new chair of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS).
Kramer took up his post on 13 November 2020 in accordance with the rotating chairmanship, and succeeds John M. Sullivan of Technische Universität Berlin (TU). The general assembly of MATH+ members unanimously elected Christof Schütte of Freie Universität Berlin (FU) as the new MATH+ chair, and approved his new board members. Among them the new BMS chair. During the first meeting of the MATH+ Board the new composition of the BMS Committee was agreed upon. The new BMS deputy chairs are Holger Reich, professor of mathematics at the FU, as the new BMS deputy chair to represent Freie Universität Berlin. He will carry out his duties alongside John M. Sullivan, the BMS deputy chair from Technische Universität Berlin (TU). The rotational change of the BMS chairmanship occurs every two years between the three participating universities in sync with the election of the new MATH+ chair.
Kramer studied mathematics in Basel, where he also completed his PhD. After holding positions at the University of Bonn, Harvard University, the University of Wuppertal and ETH Zurich, he took up his current position at HU in 1994. His research interests include Arakelov geometry, theory of automorphic forms, especially modular forms and mathematical education.
Everyone at the BMS would like to extend sincere thanks to John M. Sulivan for his hard work and outstanding commitment as the BMS Chair over the past two and a half years, and we would like to give his successor, Jürg Kramer, a very warm welcome!
BMS Phase II Student receives a student travel award
BMS Phase II Student Martin Hanik received a MICCAI Student Travel Award for the paper "Nonlinear Regression on Manifolds for Shape Analysis using Intrinsic Bézier Splines" (co-authors: Christoph von Tycowicz, Hans-Christian Hege) that has been produced in the framework of the MATH+ research project EF2-3 (Spline Models for Shape Trajectory Analysis). The prize is awarded for the highest scored papers with a young researcher as the first author. The annual MICCAI is the leading international conference for computer assisted medicine.
Two BMS alumni receive the EMS Prize 2020
Every four years, during the European Congress of Mathematics, the European Mathematical Society awards 10 EMS Prizes, the Felix Klein Prize and the Otto Neugebauer Prize. All prize winners are usually announced at the Opening Ceremony at the beginning of the congress. Unfortunately, this year the tradition called for an alternative.
The 10 EMS Prizes are awarded “to young researchers not older than 35 years, of European nationality or working in Europe, in recognition of excellent contributions in mathematics.” The 10 EMS Prizes are funded by Foundation Compositio Mathematica and EMS Press.
Maryna Viazovska is a full professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Berlin Mathematical School and the Humboldt University of Berlin (Dirichlet Postdoc 2013-2016) and a Minerva Distinguished Visitor at Princeton University. Her research interests include number theory and optimal configurations on manifolds.
Karim Alexander Adiprasito was a member of BMS, first as a PhD student at TU Berlin (2010-2013) and then at FU Berlin. Currently, he is a Professor at the University of Copenhagen and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He works in the field of combinatorics, but combines methods from algebra, geometry and topology in innovative ways, solving problems in a wide range of areas.
BMS Alumnus receives Tiburtius recognition award
BMS alumnus Mark James Curran was recognized for his scientific achievement by the 2019 State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Berlin Universities (Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen).
Mark was honoured with a Tiburtius recognition award for his doctoral dissertation entitled "The hysteretic limit of a reaction-diffusion system with a small parameter“. His PhD established the equivalence of a broad class of mathematical models for ensembles of biological organisms, and has many applied and theoretical implications for scientists working in the field. Mark completed his PhD under the supervision of Pavel Gurevich and graduated from FU Berlin in 2018 with summa cum laude. Mark is now an analyst and software engineer in an American company in Berlin. His award came with prize money in the sum of 500 euros.
The State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Berlin Universities (LKRP) annually awards three Tiburtius Prizes and three awards of recognition to recent PhD graduates from Berlin's universities for their outstanding doctoral theses. The prize-giving ceremony was held at TU Berlin on 19 December 2019.
Many congratulations to Mark!
Fruitful Second BMS – BGSMath Junior Meeting in Berlin
The second Junior Meeting of the BMS and the Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath) took place in Berlin from 26 to 28 June 2019. In total, 17 participants from Barcelona and 25 from Berlin joined the event.
The Junior Meetings were launched with a first meeting in Barcelona in October 2017 to create strong scientific exchange, strengthen research collaboration between the respective math communities, and enhance the multicultural environment of both graduate schools. The second Junior Meeting now aimed to intensify current collaborations and create new links between the two schools.
In their opening remarks, BMS Deputy Chair Prof. Dr. Jürg Kramer and BGSMath Director Prof. Dr. Marta Sanz-Solé restated their common goal of striving for excellence in their doctoral and postdoctoral training programs. They also emphasized the importance of networking and of creating diverse frameworks for lively exchange.
The three-day scientific program provided a wealth of interesting half-hour talks by 18 doctoral students and postdocs from the two schools. Mario Kummer (TU Berlin), Albert Mas-Blesa (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), and Thomas Krämer (HU Berlin) gave one-hour talks as plenary speakers.
The thematic focus was on three main areas:
“With so many areas of mathematics represented, the participants were able to learn about what their colleagues outside of their own research areas are working on and to see connections between different fields”, summarized Tal Orenshtein and Andrew Newman from the organizing committee. “The coffee breaks, the Welcome Reception in the BMS Lounge, and the Conference Dinner made lively exchange and discussions about maths and beyond possible.”
The meeting was organized by a committee of postdocs from the two institutes: Joan Bosa and Marina Gonchenko (both from BGSMath), Jean-Philippe Labbé, Andrew Newman, and Tal Orenshtein (all from the BMS), and chaired by Prof. Kramer and Prof. Sanz-Solé.
In 2016, a memorandum of understanding was signed by both graduate schools in order to boost collaborative work between young researchers from both institutions. The schools declared their intention to cooperate together in initiatives aimed at promoting the mobility of and exchange between students and faculty members by way of events such as the Junior Meeting; joint summer schools; mutual visits by advanced students and postdocs of each institution; and other scientific activities.
BMS welcomes student delegation from Atlanta
On Thursday 23 May 2019, the BMS welcomed a delegation of 23 undergraduate students and one faculty member from two American universities situated in Atlanta, Georgia. This event aimed to give the visiting students and faculty a chance to connect with their counterparts in Germany, and gain first-hand exposure to prospective careers and research opportunities in the field of mathematics. BMS and MATH+ Managing Director, Nadja Wisniewski began by giving a presentation about the BMS and its PhD Program in the framework of the newly founded Cluster of Excellence MATH+ which can be regarded as a good representative of the mathematics landscape in Berlin in general. This was followed by a talk from BMS student Sophia Elia, who presented her own research project.
The delegation then visited the TU Berlin's 3D LAB. Afterwards, the American students and faculty were given the chance to interact informally with BMS students, faculty and staff over lunch in the BMS Lounge.
This event was part of the STEM LAUNCH Study Tour of Germany organized by Cultural Vistas, a non-profit organization that facilitates connections between American and international students, academics and professionals. Through a two-week professional and cultural tour of Berlin and Munich, this study tour aims to encourage students from Georgia-based historically black colleges & universities to consider adding an international context to their educational and career paths.
ERC Advanced Grant for Gavril Farkas
Prof. Dr. Gavril Farkas, a MATH+ Principal Investigator, member of the BMS Executive Committee and professor of algebraic geometry at the HU Berlin, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant in the sum of 2.15 million euros.
Farkas is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of algebraic curves. He achieved a breakthrough in his research by using new methods inspired from topology to prove Green’s conjecture about equations of algebraic curves. Farkas' research proposal "Syzygies, moduli and topological invariants of groups" won him one of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants, which are considered the most important European awards for outstanding researchers. This lucrative grant will assist the top researcher in his scientific endeavours, and will also create new jobs as he can employ postdocs, PhD students and other staff for his new research team. Farkas will use the funding to continue to investigate the idea of connecting the different fields of algebra and topology.
Farkas is a Hungarian mathematician born in Transylvania and got his PhD in 2000 at the University of Amsterdam under the supervision of Gerard van der Geer. After positions at the University of Michigan, Princeton University and the University of Texas, Farkas took up a full professorship at the HU Berlin in 2007. His other awards and grants include the DFG Project "Syzygien und Moduli", the Ad Astra Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and two National Science Foundation Research Grants.
The ERC is a public body that was established in 2007 for the purpose of funding scientific and technological research conducted within the EU. Applications for grants are assessed by qualified external experts and the aim is to recognise the best ideas, and to confer status and visibility to the best research in Europe. ERC Advanced Grants are given to support the implementation of particularly innovative research projects. Demand for these grants is extremely high and, of the 2052 research proposals submitted to the ERC in the current round, only 11% were selected for funding.
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini