Einstein Award for the BMS
On 18 January 2018, the Berlin Mathematical School was honored with an “Einstein Award for Doctoral Programmes“.
This award recognizes outstanding highly structured doctoral programs at Berlin’s universities and at the “Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin“. It comes with substantial prize money earmarked for promoting and advancing research at a junior level as well as enhancing the international visibility of doctoral studies in Berlin.
The award was conferred by the Einstein Foundation Berlin for the second year running and the prize-giving ceremony was held in Berlin’s Altes Stadthaus as part of the foundation’s traditional New Year Reception. The BMS received prize money in the sum of 75,000 euros per year for three years, and for the duration of this funding period each prizewinner can enjoy the distinction of being known as an “Einstein Doctoral Programme“.
The financial component attached to this notable honor will considerably strengthen the BMS, in particular it will enable the optimal future development of two integral parts of its program. One part is the BMS Dirichlet Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is a two-year position offered to outstanding young PhD graduates, who want to pursue their own research in mathematics in one of the BMS Research Areas. The other is the BMS Alumni Program, which includes the BMS Alumni Day, an annual event designed to help alumni maintain a connection to the BMS, current students, fellow graduates and vice versa.
The BMS was one of the three prizewinners chosen for their excellent doctoral programs. The other winners were the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, and the Graduate School of North American Studies.
The Einstein Foundation Berlin was founded in 2009 by the State of Berlin. It promotes cutting-edge science and research, and strives to strengthen the city's reputation as one the world's leading research hubs.
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini
Source: Einstein Foundation Berlin
BMS students successful at Dies Mathematicus 2017
Several BMS students were winners at this year’s Dies Mathematicus at the TU Berlin. Prizes were given for the best degrees of the year and for the best presentations of the day.
Phase I student Melanie Koser was one of three winners in the "Best Bachelor’s Degree" category. She presented her final thesis entitled "Zur kinetischen Formulierung skalarer Erhaltungsgleichungen". Among the three winners for the category "Best Master’s Degree" was her fellow Phase I student Jan Macdonald. He presented his thesis on "Bildklassifikation und die Scattering-Transformation - Woher Facebook & Co. wissen, was auf unseren Fotos zu sehen ist".
In the category "Best Presentation", two out of the three winners were from the BMS: Phase II student Mones Raslan for the presentation of his master’s thesis entitled "Der Sprung vom Kontinuierlichen ins Diskrete: Repräsentationssysteme zur Lösung von partiellen Differentialgleichungen" and Martin Plonka for the presentation of his master’s thesis on "Differentialgleichungen in Netzwerken".
Congratulations to all the winners!
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini
Source: Dies Mathematicus
BMS Alumni awarded Tiburtius Prizes
BMS alumni Moritz Firsching and Giuseppe Cannizzaro were recognized for their scientific achievements by the State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Berlin Universities (Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen).
Moritz was awarded the third Tiburtius Prize in the dissertation category for his outstanding PhD thesis entitled "Optimierungsmethoden in der Diskreten Geometrie". He did his PhD at the FU Berlin under the supervision of the current BMS Chair Prof. Günter M. Ziegler, and graduated with summa cum laude in 2016. Currently, Moritz is a postdoctoral researcher in Ziegler's Discrete Geometry research group at the FU Berlin. His award came with prize money in the sum of 1500 euros.
Giuseppe received an honorable award in recognition of his doctoral dissertation entitled "Singular SPDEs and Related Topics". He completed his PhD under the supervision of BMS faculty member Prof. Dr. Peter K. Friz and graduated from the TU Berlin in 2016 with magna cum laude. Giuseppe is currently working as a research associate for Prof. Martin Hairer at Imperial College London. 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 the FU Berlin on 29 November 2017.
Congratulations Moritz and Giuseppe!
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini
Source: FU Berlin
Two Berlin Science Prizes for the BMS
Ziegler, who is Chair of the Berlin Mathematical School, a professor of mathematics at the FU Berlin, and honorary professor at the TU Berlin, is nationally and internationally recognized for the remarkable breadth of his mathematical knowledge, and for his services to research in the areas of discrete mathematics, geometry and topology. Moreover, his reputation as a role model for young scientists, scholars and students precedes him. At the awarding ceremony, Mayor Müller acknowledged Ziegler as an excellent mathematician and impressive communicator, and President of the European Research Council (ERC) Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon was proud to emphasize in his laudation that Ziegler is the second ERC laureate of this prestigious award.
The Berlin Science Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in science and research in Berlin. The prize money of 40,000 euros benefits the researcher’s institution, and one of its key uses is to support Berlin’s continued economic development. Ziegler’s other awards and honors include the Leibniz Prize (2001), the Communicator Award (2008), an ERC Advanced Grant (2010) and the Hector Science Award (2013). He is on the board of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, and he is also a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
The awarding ceremony, which took place at Berlin’s “Rotes Rathaus“, included the Young Researcher Prize. This year it went to Dr. Myfanwy Evans, who is a BMS postdoctoral faculty member and Emmy Noether Research Group Leader at the TU Berlin. Evans, who hails from the Australian capital of Canberra, works at the interface between mathematics and physics. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, honors an innovative approach to research in a field that offers particular potential for Berlin’s scientific and economic future.
Many congratulations to Günter and Myf!
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini
Source: FU Berlin
Career Day 2017: Scientific Life Balance
On Friday 20 October 2017, in collaboration with Geo.X the Research Network for Geosciences in Berlin and Potsdam, the BMS jointly held a “Career Day 2017: Scientific Life Balance” with twelve other graduate programs at the Urania in Berlin. This event about the art of work-life balance in scientific research was attended by over 100 registered participants.
In the afternoon, there was a podium discussion with experts and decision-makers, who are active in the areas of science policy and research funding, and come from both the private and the academic sector. The aim was to provide an opportunity for additional discussion and suggestions at a more general level.
First BMS - BGSMath Junior Meeting in Barcelona
In their rich, diverse and international mathematical environments, the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) and the Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath) share the common goal of striving for excellence in their doctoral and postdoctoral training programs. To kick off the new collaboration between these two graduate schools, the first BMS - BGSMath Junior Meeting was held in Barcelona on 9 and 10 October 2017.
The BMS and BGSMath have 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. The ultimate goal is to create strong scientific exchange, strengthen research collaboration between the respective math communities, and enhance the multicultural environment of both graduate schools.
Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini
Top rankings for Berlin universities in 2017
According to the "Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings", the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TU) belong to the top seven universities in Germany. Ranked 4th, 5th and 7th, respectively, they each claim higher positions in comparison with the results of previous years.
BMS Phase II student’s 3D models are winners
Martin Skrodzki, BMS Phase II student and member of the FU Berlin’s Mathematical Geometry Processing group, was part of the winning team in the FU Berlin’s "Research to Market Challenge 2017". His team, Double Cover, was awarded first prize in the category “Cultural & Social” for its business model to make artistic and aesthetic geometric models available for education.
Created using sturdy, metallic-looking paper, the cut-outs for the models can be produced in large numbers using a laser cutting technique. The models are then put together by the users themselves and depict mathematical geometries with so-called multiple coverings. These are geometric analogies to the weaving process used in the production of cloth. By introducing multi-coverings, the models become both more stable and mathematically interesting. The models presented depict platonic solids, double covered, but the method can be applied to any geometrical model. Potential customers for Double Cover’s winning idea include teachers, science workshop organizers and private individuals. The other team members are the former BMS vice chair and head of the Mathematical Geometry Processing group Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier, technical staff member Ulrich Reitebuch and student assistant Kevin Guo.
The “Research to Market Challenge” is a competition for research-based product and business ideas and is open to members or alumni of the FU Berlin, among others. As well as prize money in the sum of 1500 euros, the team has been offered the chance to take part in a one-day workshop on business model development, coaching on how to successfully present their idea, and personal feedback by experts.
No sooner had Martin accepted this prize with his team on 18 July 2017, than he and some members of his research group were awarded with another prize! On 10 August 2017 in Tokyo, Japan, the winners of this year’s Asian Digital Modeling Contest (ADMC) were announced: Martin, Konrad, and Ulrich were jointly awarded one of the two ADMC2017 Awards for Excellence for their model “Chladni Towers”.
The aim of the ADMC is to encourage the creation of three-dimensional mechanisms and objects in innovative environments via 3D printing technology. The competitors were asked to submit an original design that could be created using a 3D printer. Out of 27 competitors, eleven finalists were invited to present their designs at the 2017 Asian Forum on Graphic Science in Tokyo. Upon announcing “Chladni Towers” as one of the winning designs, the jury explained its choice: "The form is constructed from a layered Chladni figure, which is derived from physical phenomena. Visualization of sound is often performed by two-dimensional figures, but by using a layered structure, additional dimension is expressed in the height direction and the vibration of sound is expressed in a 3D space. The idea is novel and the realized form is elegant. This is a splendid work that visualizes invisible physical phenomena.”
As a member of the Mathematical Geometry Processing group at the FU Berlin, Martin is currently working on his PhD under the supervision of the former BMS vice chair Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier. Martin's research interests include the acquisition of point sets via 3D-scanning as well as their processing. With regards to efficiency, he is interested in nearest-neighbor algorithms and corresponding data structures.
Many congratulations to Martin and the other members of his team for their success!
BMS welcomes a student delegation from Atlanta
On Tuesday 23 May 2017, the BMS welcomed a delegation of 20 undergraduate students and three faculty members from Morehouse College and Spelman College, 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 Deputy Chair, Prof. Dr. John Sullivan, began by giving a presentation about the BMS, its PhD Program, and about the mathematics landscape in Berlin in general. This was followed by talks from three BMS Phase II students, who each presented their own research projects. Patrick Gelß, based at the FU, gave a talk on “The tensor-train format and its applications - Modeling and analysis of chemical reaction networks, catalytic processes, fluid flows, and Brownian dynamics”. Ana Djurdjevac, also based at the FU, presented her research on “Random PDEs on evolving hypersurfaces”. Finally, using material from his PhD project, Carlos Echeverría Serur, based at the TU, gave a talk entitled “On the solution of linear systems arising from Shishkin mesh discretizations”. Carlos said he hopes that all the talks will encourage some of the American students to come to Berlin for their graduate studies.
Following the BMS presentations, 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.
20th BMS Kovalevskaya Lunch
Each semester, the BMS designates one of the BMS Friday Colloquia as the Sonia Kovalevskaya Colloquium. This lecture, named after the pioneering Russian mathematician, features female mathematicians, both senior and junior, who are regarded as successful role models. The BMS Kovalevskaya Lunch takes place prior to the main lecture and is an event held exclusively for women at the BMS.
On 2 June 2017, the 20th BMS Kovalevskaya Lunch took place with Prof. Sujatha Ramdorai as the twentieth special guest invited to share her experience as a woman mathematician with twenty participants from the BMS. In celebration of this milestone, everyone in attendance was given a small gift from the BMS in the form of a USB stick.
Sujatha Ramdorai is an algebraic number theorist and, over lunch at the Urania Berlin, she shared the story of her desire to study mathematics and outlined her career success to date, which includes being a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India for a period of five years. Sujatha is currently a professor of mathematics at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The BMS Kovalevskaya Lunch, held once a semester since 2007, aims to give female students the opportunity to talk to an outstanding female mathematician and to exchange experiences as women in the field of mathematics. At this informal event, students have the chance to discuss the issues that directly impact female mathematicians and their careers, such as job opportunities, parenthood and work-life balance. Phase I student Yingying, who took part in the Kovalevskaya Lunch for the first time, said that the meeting with Sujatha gave her more motivation to continue doing mathematics and to contribute to the support of women in this field. She added that she was grateful to have been given the chance to meet Sujatha in person.
Previous Sonia Kovalevskaya Colloquium guest speakers can be found on this page of our website.
The BMS is committed to providing an outstanding environment where women are able to thrive in mathematics. In 2016, the BMS student body was over 30% female, but the goal of the BMS is to achieve a 50% representation of women among its students. As well as the Kovalevskaya Lunch event, the BMS strives to provide positive role models for women via the BMS faculty and postdoc faculty members, BMS mentors, board members, guest speakers and visitors too. In addition, the BMS awards the Hilda Geiringer Scholarship to outstanding female PhD students in recognition of their achievements to date and to support their future mathematical research endeavours. Hilda Geiringer’s daughter, Magda Tisza, validated the efforts of the BMS in fostering women mathematicians with her comment: "The stellar record of some of your scholarship selections is impressive."