Timo Berthold, BMS alumnus and doctoral graduate of TU Berlin, was one of seven recipients of the 2015 Klaus Tschira Award for Achievements in Public Understanding of Science (Klaus Tschira Preis für verständliche Wissenschaft).
The Klaus Tschira Foundation (Klaus Tschira Stiftung) established this nationwide competition in 2006 with the aim of fostering public appreciation of natural sciences, mathematics and information technology. The challenge is for young scientists to write an article about their research and PhD thesis in a way that is understandable to the scientifically interested, but non-specialist person.
Ideal bus schedules, optimal phone reception or a perfectly coordinated football schedule all have something in common that may not be obvious to the layperson: at the core, they all consist of a mathematical optimization problem. In his article, selected from almost 150 contributions, Timo demonstrated just how often we encounter mathematical optimization in everyday life without being aware of it, and explained that solving systems of equations has a lot to do with creativity and craftsmanship. According to the jury, by explaining problems and solution methods from the ground up and identifying useful solutions, Timo succeeded in keeping in mind the lay person as his reader. In addition, his enthusiasm for the beauty of his subject was clearly transmitted to the jury.
Timo was presented with his award on 8 October 2015 at the University of Heidelberg's historical Alte Aula and is the third BMS alumnus to receive this prize. Tim Conrad was a recipient in 2009 and Jannik Matuschke in 2014. The award came with prize money in the sum of 5000 euros.
This year Timo also received the Euro Doctoral Dissertation Award (EDDA) 2015 at the EURO 2015 Conference in July and a Dissertation Prize from the German Operations Research Society (GOR) at the society’s annual meeting in Vienna in September.