On Friday 13 July 2018, the BMS Certificate Ceremony took place in the Goethe Saal at Harnack-Haus in Berlin's leafy residential district of Dahlem.

After the final BMS Friday Colloquium of the summer semester given by Prof. Dr. Monique Laurent (CWI, Amsterdam), BMS students, friends, family and BMS faculty, staff and guests joined together to celebrate the academic achievements of 21 BMS Phase I graduates and 83 BMS Phase II graduates.

The certificate ceremony began with a welcome speech by the new BMS Chair, Prof. John M. Sullivan, who began by congratulating the recent graduates on their success. He then reported that, in the 12 years since its foundation, the BMS has celebrated the success of 300 PhD graduates, and remarked that the internationality of BMS students continues to have a great effect on the math landscape in Berlin. In his short speech, Prof. Günter M. Ziegler, the outgoing BMS Chair and new President of FU Berlin, highlighted the internationality of the BMS management too and, in a quote by Hemingway, he encouraged the new graduates to be prepared for whatever luck the future might bring.

Monique Laurent returned to the stage to award Certificates of Completion to those students who completed Phase I during the past two years by passing the BMS Qualifying Exam. She then awarded Certificates of Distinction to the Phase II students who completed their PhDs in the same period. The ceremony also included musical performances by the duo "Wild Strings", a violinist and guitarist who perform their own improvised versions of classical music pieces.

After receiving their certificates, the BMS graduates gathered in the garden for some photographs and then everyone joined them outside to enjoy the celebratory reception under the warm evening sun.

graduates © Kay Hermschelmann / BMS

Patrick Morris, a Phase I graduate from the UK who is now halfway through Phase II, was grateful to the BMS for organizing such a special celebration and giving graduates the opportunity to invite friends and family along. Through the presentation of Phase II dissertation titles, he said his guests were able to get a real impression of where all his hard work can lead to. Antje Bjelde, a BMS Phase II graduate from Germany who is now working as a freelance researcher, said that seeing a "Dr." title before her name, as it was displayed on the presentation, is still a surreal feeling.

Phase I graduates Dragana Radojičić from Serbia and Shimaa Elesaely from Egypt both travelled back to Berlin from abroad to attend the ceremony. Dragana said: "It was a great pleasure to attend the ceremony and I was very happy when I got an invitation. I finished Phase I of the BMS program two years ago, and since then I do not miss an opportunity to visit Berlin and meet friends I made here. In addition to meeting dear people from the BMS, these events are always nicely organized with a wonderful atmosphere and great food." Shimaa remarked: "What I liked was to see old friends again and to celebrate my success with them. During the ceremony I enjoyed the music, and afterwards I enjoyed the delicious buffet and socializing with friends, professors, students and staff."

Almost 150 people attended on the day and we would like to thank everyone who joined us in celebrating the academic success of our students. Not all of our graduates were able to attend the ceremony, so we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone. Well done, we are very proud of you all!

Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini

Günter M. Ziegler and John M. Sullivan © Kay Herschelmann/BMSJohn M. Sullivan, professor of mathematics at Technische Universität Berlin (TU), is the new chair of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS).

Sullivan took up his post on 1 July 2018 in accordance with the rotating chairmanship, and succeeds Günter M. Ziegler of Freie Universität Berlin (FU). An assembly of BMS faculty members unanimously elected Sullivan as the new chair and paid tribute to his predecessor, who was recently elected president of the FU Berlin. BMS faculty members then elected 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 Jürg Kramer, the BMS deputy chair from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). The rotational change of the BMS chairmanship occurs every two years between the three participating universities.

Sullivan studied at Harvard and Cambridge, before completing his PhD at Princeton in 1990. After holding positions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and at MSRI in California, he took up his current position at the TU in 2003. His research interests include discrete differential geometry and mathematical visualization.

Everyone at the BMS would like to extend sincere thanks to Günter M. Ziegler for his hard work and outstanding commitment as the BMS Chair over the past two years, and we would like to give his successor, John M. Sullivan, a very warm welcome!

Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini

Günter M.Ziegler © Kay Herschelmann/BMSOn Wednesday 2 May 2018, the extended Academic Senate (Erweiterter Akademischer Senat) voted in favour of Günter M. Ziegler as the new president of the Free University Berlin (FU).

In the first ballot of votes cast, Ziegler received 39 of the 61 votes to succeed the long-term president of the FU, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt. Required was an absolute majority of 31 votes. Ziegler's main contender was Tanja Brühl, professor of political science at the Goethe University Frankfurt, who received 15 votes. The president of the FU Berlin is appointed by the Berlin Senate and the term of office lasts four years.

Ziegler, who is currently the Chair of the Berlin Mathematical School, a professor of mathematics at the FU Berlin, and honorary professor at the TU Berlin, completed his PhD at MIT in 1987 and did his habilitation at the TU Berlin in 1992. From 1995 to 2011, he was professor of mathematics at the TU, before taking up his current position at the FU in 2011. Ziegler has been 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. The German Research Foundation awarded Ziegler the Gerhard Hess Prize and the Leibniz Prize in 1994 and in 2001, respectively. He is a member of the board of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and a representative for the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In 2010, he was honored with an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council and in 2012, he was appointed to the first group of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). In 2013, the mathematician was granted the Hector Science Award and appointed Fellow of the Hector Foundation. More recently, in 2017, Ziegler was awarded the Berlin Science Prize, and this year he received the Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition (jointly with Martin Aigner) from the AMS.

Ziegler, who has been acknowledged as an impressive communicator and praised for his reputation as a role model for scholars, young scientists and students alike, succeeds Prof. Dr. Alt, who was elected as President of the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz) on 24 April 2018, after acting as FU President since 2010.

Everyone at the BMS would like to extend their hearty congratulations to Günter on his election as the new president of the FU Berlin!

Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini

Source: FU Berlin

NIkolas Perkowski © privateNicolas Perkowski, BMS alumnus and graduate of the HU Berlin, was recently awarded the 2018 Rollo Davidson Prize for his groundbreaking work on stochastic partial differential equations. 

This prize has been awarded annually since 1975 to young mathematicians for outstanding achievement in the field of probability theory. The members of the Rollo Davidson Trust at the University of Cambridge selected Nicolas "for his role in the development of the theory of paracontrolled distributions for singular stochastic partial differential equations and for advances in understanding of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation". Previous prizewinners include Wendelin Werner und Alain-Sol Sznitman, who are former and current BMS Scientific Advisory Board members, respectively.

Nicolas did his PhD at the HU Berlin under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Imkeller, and graduated with summa cum laude in December 2013. He then became a postdoctoral researcher at the CEREMADE, a research centre within the Université Paris-Dauphine, before starting as a junior professor for stochastic analysis at the HU Berlin in January 2015. At the beginning of April 2018, he took up a Heisenberg researcher position at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (MPI MIS) in Leipzig.

Congratulations Nicolas!


Written by S. E. Sutherland-Figini

Source: University of Cambridge Statistical Laboratory



The event will focus on topics in homotopy theory and its applications to algebraic and arithmetic geometry, manifold theory and algebraic K-theory. There will be two consecutive weeks devoted to the following topics.

Equivariant homotopy theory and K-theory
18-22 June 2018

Motivic homotopy groups of spheres III
25 - 29 June 2018

Each week is a workshop with an integrated summer school. In each week on Monday, Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon we will have summer school lectures. These are primarily directed to PhD students and young PostDocs, but are open to all participants. There will also be accompanying tutorials and question sessions.

Summer School 1:
18 - 20 June 

Applications of topological cyclic homology and cyclotomic spectra
• Akhil Mathew (U Chicago)

Global homotopy theory
• Stefan Schwede (U Bonn)

Assembly maps and trace methods
• Marco Varisco (U Albany)

Summer School 2:
25 - 27 June 

An introduction to A^1 homotopy theory from an infinity-categorical viewpoint
• Florian Strunk (U Regensburg)
• Georg Tamme (U Regensburg)
• Tutor: Elden Elmanto

After the school part in each week there will be a workshop (Wednesday morning, Thursday, Friday). The summer school particpants are strongly encouraged to stay for the workshop as well.

For up-to-date information about the workshop and the summer school please visit


Registration and Application

Senior researchers, i.e. those who completed their Ph.D. in or before the year 2015, may register for the summer school and the workshops here.

Junior researchers should sign up at the BMS website and then apply via the separate application form under the link below. The deadline for applications with requests for funding expired March 7, 2018 and funding decisions have been taken.

However until May 13 you can still apply for participation and since there may be cancellations by funded participants we still collect the data relevant for funding as well.

Application Deadline: May 13, 2018

During the application you will be asked to upload two pdf-files. A scientific CV and a short letter of interest (half a page), where you should explain your motivation to participate in the event. You will also be asked to provide the contact information of one recommender.

For participants with children of up to 6 years, there will be day care opportunities if requested well in advance in the application.


Andrew Blumberg (U Texas, Austin)
Teena Gerhardt (Michigan State)
Mike Hill (UCLA)
Marc Levine (U Duisburg/Essen)
Holger Reich (FU Berlin)
Oliver Röndigs (U Osnabrück)
Paul Arne Østvær (U Oslo)

Please direct scientific questions about the school to the organizers and administrative questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“.

 Marion Müller, Steffen Krach, Nevena Palic, Forough Sodoudi, Günter M.Ziegler, Günter Stock © Einstein Foundation/ Sebastian Gabsch

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




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


„MoritzBMS 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.

„GiuseppeGiuseppe 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


Günter M. Ziegler and Myfanwy Evans ©Sodoudi/BMSOn 7 November 2017, Günter M. Ziegler was awarded the Berlin Science Prize by the governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD).

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


Key Note © Kay Herschelmann/BMSOn 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.

The keynote speech on striving for balance in scientific life was followed by an open space session hosted by ten female and male researchers, professors and professionals. The hosts shared their work and life experiences in an open “marketplace-style” setting in which the participants were able to move between ten booths and gain a variety of information and ideas by engaging in each discussion at hand. Host sharing work and life experiences with PhD students © Kay Herschelmann/BMSThe topics at each booth ranged from how to develop effective time management strategies, or find a good job in the private sector, to the issues couples face such as finding a job in the same city, or how scientists with families achieve work-life balance at home or abroad.

 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.

The overall goal of this event was to assist all female and male students and researchers at all scientific career levels to gain insight into the tried and tested ways of achieving a work-life balance. Working alongside the Berlin Mathematical School to bring this very successful event into being were two collaborative research centers CRC 1114 and CRC 1294, the graduate research school GeoSim, two research training groups BioMove and NatRiskChange, two European training networks SUBITOP and SystemRisk, two initial training networks IsoNose and ALErT, the international research training group StRATEGy, the integrative research institute IRI THESys and Geo.X Young Academy.

Source: www.geo-x.net/career-day-2017/



Filmmakers: Johanna Ickert and René Arnold