MATH+/BMS Dirichlet Postdocs 2023
Ioannis Papadopoulos, Fabian Lehman, and Alexandra Wesolek | Photos: privateThe Dirichlet Postdoctoral Fellows pursue their research agendas and delve into their individual research interests. MATH+ and the BMS offer an extensive mathematical environment and access to the latest advancements in their respective fields. They will receive support in establishing a collaborative network, encompassing both national and international scientific contacts, and benefit from insights provided by research groups in related or diverse fields. Furthermore, the postdoctoral researchers will have abundant opportunities to acquire teaching, supervisory, and mentoring experience within the framework of the BMS and MATH+.
Fabian Lehmann @ HU Berlin:
Fabian Lehmann studied mathematics at the Universität Freiburg. He earned his PhD from University College London with a dissertation on “Families of complete non-compact Spin (7) holonomy manifolds” in 2020. In the past three years, he worked at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Stony Brook, New York. His research interests are at the intersection of geometry and partial differential equations. An essential system of partial differential equations appearing in geometry is Einstein’s equations, which characterize spaces with a particularly interesting curvature. They also appear in the theory of general relativity. He studies these equations on octonionic spaces, which have dimension seven or eight and are modeled on the octonions, which form an eight-dimensional number system. This extra structure gives Einstein’s equations a simpler form. Even in this setting, finding solutions is challenging. Fabian hopes that his “research at the BMS can contribute to finding such spaces which look like a cone” and continues with regard to MATH+ and the BMS: “The BMS has been a very successful program so far, and I am honored to be part of it.”
Ioannis Papadopoulos @ WIAS:
Ioannis Papadopoulos studied mathematics at the Imperial College London (B.Sc.) and the University of Oxford (M.Sc.). He obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford with a thesis on “Computing multiple solutions of topology optimization problems” in 2021. From 2021 to 2023, he held a research associate (postdoc) position at Imperial College London. His main research area is numerical analysis and scientific computing. The research focuses on the interface between PDEs and numerical analysis: spectral and finite element methods for fractional and nonlinear PDEs, nonconvex optimization, preconditioners, and software. During his Dirichlet postdoctoral fellowship, Ioannis wants to explore nonconvex PDE-constrained optimization, sparse hp-finite element methods, and preconditioning techniques for nonlinear PDEs and (quasi) variational inequalities. In particular, he is interested in computing multiple solutions of highly nonlinear problems with sparse high order discretizations. About his upcoming years in Berlin as a Dirichlet postdoc, he said: “It brings me great joy to become a part of the esteemed MATH+/BMS community. I eagerly anticipate engaging in collaborations and embracing what Berlin has to offer.”
Alexandra Wesolek @ TU Berlin:
Alexandra Wesolek recently completed her PhD at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver under the guidance of Bojan Mohar. Her primary research focus lies in topological graph theory. This subject is at the intersection of graph theory and topology/geometry. Throughout her graduate studies, Alexandra also went on research visits to France, where she worked on structural graph theory. Prior to joining the BMS, she pursued a 3-month postdoctoral position in Lyon, France, under the mentorship of Nicolas Bousquet and Théo Pierron. During her time at MATH+ and the BMS, she wants to work further on geometric and structural problems in graph theory. A problem she finds particularly engaging is the cops and robber game. In this game, cops try to catch one robber, while the cops and the robber move at the same speed. The game field can either be a graph or a surface. One is generally interested in the minimum number of cops that can catch the robber on the game field. Played on a graph, the game has many connections to structural graph theory since the structure of a graph determines the game. However, when played on surfaces, the game is influenced by the geometry of the surface. Regarding her forthcoming years at the BMS in Berlin, she commented: “Being at the BMS and working in the group of Stefan Felsner was my favorite destination for a postdoc, so I was very excited when I got the Dirichlet Postdoctoral Position. I am looking forward to being part of the BMS and to interacting with the students in the program and other postdocs. I am planning to teach a specialized BMS course in graph theory next year, which I am particularly looking forward to.”
BMS/MATH+ Orientation for New Students & Postdocs
Photos: © Kay Herschelmann / MATH+
On 10 October, we welcomed all new students for the BMS Orientation Day. The BMS Chair, Holger Reich, informed the Phase I students about all relevant aspects of the BMS PhD program, such as Basic and Advanced Courses, the Qualifying Exam, the MATH+ Friday Colloquia, and the BMS Mentoring program. Soft-Skills Seminars were introduced, and funding opportunities for conferences, summer schools, and German language courses explained. The MATH+ Managing Director, Nadja Wisniewski, and our Gender and Diversity Manager, Tanja Fagel, introduced the new Phase II students of the relevant details. The BMS Coordinator, Annika Preuß-Vermeulen, gave a talk on Mental Health and where to find help in case of need for Phase I students in the morning and for the junior researchers (incl. Postdocs and Junior Research Group leaders) in the afternoon.
The lunch break brought all newcomers and experienced BMS students and alumni together and gave everyone a chance to get to know each other and share tips in a relaxed atmosphere.
For the new Phase I students the day was concluded with presentations of the Basic Courses offered this semester, while the Phase II students and Postdocs heard a talk on Research Data Management by Tim Hasler, MATH+ Chief Data Officer. The Postdoc Orientation in the late afternoon started with a warm welcome by MATH+ Co-Chair, Martin Skutella, who together with the Postdoc Liaison Officer, Theo Roelofs, provided the new researchers with targeted information on opportunities and services at MATH+. This included such pressing topics as career development and its strategies, how to gain teaching experience, and the importance of becoming a mentor as well as finding a mentor for themselves. Funding opportunities and services at MATH+, service information about graduate services at FU, HU and TU and the BUA Postdoc Academy, and instructions on MATh+ publications were also explained. The orientation session ended with introducing the MATH+ Postdoc Representatives at MATH+ who participate in MATH+ Board and BMS Committee meetings.
The BMS Orientation week also encompassed many other helpful and also fun activities to prepare the students for studying and living in Germany and Berlin, like an Intercultural Training, a Master Regulations Meeting, and Campus Tours with the Student Representatives. A Walking Tour through Berlin and a food tour organized by the Student Representatives concluded the program.
We hope all groups took advantage of the valuable pieces of information and networking opportunity and had a great start at the BMS/MATH+. We look forward to seeing everyone again at the many BMS/MATH+ activities.
MATH+/BMS Welcomes the First YAM Fellows
We are delighted to introduce Samantha Glory Guiate Simo and Wilson Tsuata as our first MATH+ YAM Fellows of the Young African Mathematicians (YAM) Fellowship Program for the academic year 2023/24. They just arrived and will stay in Berlin until 30 June 2024. As YAM fellows, they are also a part of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) for the duration of the YAM program. Congratulations, and welcome to the MATH+/BMS community!
About the YAM Fellowship Program:
The Young African Mathematicians (YAM) Fellowship Program is a collaboration between five of the African Institutes for Mathematical Science (AIMS) and four German Clusters of Excellence: Hausdorff Center for Mathematics (Universität Bonn), Münster Mathematics (Universität Münster), STRUCTURES (Universität Heidelberg), and MATH+ (Berlin). The YAM program welcomes talented African students in mathematics to join one of the four clusters for nine months. They can take courses and seminars and gain experience in working on research projects.
Call for Applications: Dirichlet Postdoctoral Fellows
The Berlin Mathematics Research Center MATH+ and the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) invite applications for the Dirichlet Postdoc Fellowship starting in Fall 2024. This two-year position is open to promising young mathematicians who will have completed their PhD degree by 30 September 2024 and want to pursue their own research in one of the eight broad research areas of mathematics covered by the Berlin Mathematical School. The competitive full-time salary includes health insurance. Fellows are expected to teach one semester course per year, typically in English at the graduate level. Applications from well-qualified individuals, especially women, are highly encouraged.
Application deadline: 1 December 2023 (23:59:59, Berlin time, UTC +1 hour)
MATH+ Dissertation Award 2022 for BMS Graduates
In cooperation with the Einstein Foundation Berlin, the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) of the Cluster of Excellence MATH+ awards up to three annual prizes for outstanding dissertations to BMS graduates. We are delighted to announce that the MATH+ Dissertation Award 2022 have been presented to Dr. Luzie Helfmann, Dr. Patrick Morris, and Dr. Yizheng Yuan for their excellent theses. Congratulations!
Photo (from left to right): Michael Hintermüller (MATH+ Chair), Tibor Szabó (Advisor P. Morris), Patrick Morris (Awardee), Luzie Helfmann (Awardee),
After High School (Abitur), Luzie Helfmann moved from Germany to England to study Mathematics and Physics at the University College London from 2012 to 2016. Upon returning to Berlin, she enrolled at Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin) to obtain her Master’s degree in Mathematics, successfully graduating in 2019 with a Master’s thesis on “Stochastic Modeling of Interacting Agent Systems.” She continued her doctoral studies at FU Berlin and the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research under the supervision of Christof Schütte and graduated with a PhD in 2022. Following her doctoral studies, she joined the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) as a postdoctoral researcher, focusing on model reductions of social dynamics. In June 2023, Luzie Helfmann became part of the Climate Policy Team at Climate Analytics, a global institute for climate science and policy. Within her role as a Data Scientist, she contributes to several projects through modeling and software development, including the Climate Action Tracker.
BMS Alumnus won 2023 SIAG/GD Early Career Prize
BMS Alumnus Martin Skrodzki received the 2023 SIAG/GD Early Career Prize at the 2023 SIAM Conference on Computational Geometric Design (GD23) on 05 July 2023 in Genoa (Italy), which is part of the International Geometry Summit 2023. Congratulations from the BMS and MATH+!
The Early Career Prize of the SIAM Activity Group on Geometric Design (SIAG/GD), established in 2018, is awarded to an outstanding early career researcher in the field of geometric design and processing for distinguished contributions to the field in the five calendar years prior to the year of the award.
SIAM GD Chair Hendrik Speleers (left) with awardee Martin Skrodzki (right) | Photos: © Henriette Lipschütz
Martin Skrodzki received his PhD from Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin) under the supervision of MATH+ member Konrad Polthier and with the support of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS). He is currently an assistant professor at TU Delft in the group of Computer Graphics and Visualization. His research on 3D-scanning, point clouds, denoising, and visualization, as well as his novel activities on illustrations of mathematics, are described as exceptional.
Commenting on his award, Skrodzki said: “This award is a tangible recognition of the hard work and dedication me and my collaborators have put into this research. It validates our efforts, and we are both humbled and excited about this distinction. It will open up new opportunities, which can help me continuously develop myself as a researcher and further my career.”
He studied mathematics and computer science in Dortmund (Germany), Laredo (USA), and Berlin, where he graduated with a Dr. rer. nat. in 2019 from FU Berlin. While doing his PhD, he was also a member of the C05 Project "Computational and structural aspects in multi-scale shape interpolation" of the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) “Discretization in Geometry and Dynamics” SFB Transregio 109, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). After obtaining his PhD, he held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University, the RIKEN Institute (Japan), where he was funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), and at TU Delft (Netherlands) with support of the Walter-Benjamin-Program of the DFG.
Martin Skrodzki’s research interests include the visualization of high-dimensional data, discrete geometry processing as well as interactions between mathematics and art. They are also set between Computer Science and Mathematics. He is concerned about all issues related to point and data sets. This includes the acquisition of point sets via 3D-scanning or higher-dimensional forms of data collection as well as their processing afterwards. Key terms for the latter are denoising, cluster algorithms, and visualization. In regard to visualization, he is interested in illustrations of mathematics in the broadest sense, including, e.g., virtual reality, 3D printing, and computer animations.
Please visit the personal homepage of Martin Skrodzki for more information.
30th Kovalevskaya Lunch: Interview with Tanja Fagel
On the occasion of the 30th Kovalevskaya Lunch on 12 May, the “International Women in Math Day”, Tanja Fagel, MATH+ Gender & Diversity Manager, gave us interesting insights into the popular tradition of the lunch in an interview. She describes the importance of the event for young female mathematicians, who experience female professors very closely as role models and can ask burning questions in a direct exchange.
The “Kovalevskaya Lunch” is coming up to its 30th anniversary this year, Congratulations! How will you celebrate?
Why was this event named after the Russian mathematician Sophia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)?
What was the reason and the goal for introducing this format and the event?
Do you have a personal highlight from all of the Kovalevskaya Lunches? Which women mathematicians have fascinated you the most?
How do young BMS/MATH+ women mathematicians respond to the offer?
What would you wish for in terms of your work in “Gender & Diversity“?
Thank you very much for the interview and the interesting insights and reviews!
BMS Days & BMS Student Conference, 20-24 Feb 2023
After a two-year break, we are happy that the BMS Days 2023 took place in person again on 20 and 21 February at the Magnus-Haus in the heart of Berlin. We welcomed 27 of the best Phase I applicants from 17 different countries who were invited to spend a whole week in Berlin and also attend the Student Conference on 22-24 February at TU Berlin.
The BMS Days allow the BMS Admissions Committee to interview the applicants in person and also give them a preview of the opportunities offered by the BMS. The applicants got the chance to meet current BMS students and learn about life as a graduate student in Berlin. As usual, the program included an overview of the BMS graduate program and the research opportunities in Berlin, mathematical talks by MATH+ faculty members and Q&A sessions with faculty and students.
The BMS Days were followed by the BMS Student Conference from 22 to 24 February, organized by the BMS student representatives. They offered invited talks by Claudio Arezzo (U Parma and ICTP) and Günter M. Ziegler (FU Berlin). Furthermore, several BMS students displayed the broad spectrum of Berlin's mathematical landscape by presenting their own research projects and talks on various topics. The highlight, as usual, was the praised “Wine and Cheese Party” at the end of the week.
We hope to see most of our guests again soon when they start their BMS careers in the fall!
After Movie of the BMS Certificate Ceremony 2022
After a two-year break, we could finally honor our graduates and recent BMS alumni with a festive Certificate Ceremony in the beautiful Leibniz-Saal of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW). Almost 140 members and guests followed the invitation and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon and long overdue get-together.
Get an impression of the vibrant event and watch the "After Movie" of the BMS Certificate Ceremony here or on the MATH+ YouTube channel, where you can find more exciting videos:
The afternoon started with the BMS PhD seminar "What is…? ". PhD student M. Levent Doğan introduced the topic of the following MATH+ Friday colloquium on "P, NP, and Probabilistically Checkable Proofs", held by Irit Dinur of the Weizmann Institute of Sciences (online). The presentations were part of the 2022 nationwide event series "The 7 Greatest Adventures of Mathematics," which describes the seven Millennium Prize problems presented by seven German mathematical research institutions. All recordings of the presentations on "P versus NP" are also available on the MATH+ YouTube channel.
Afterwards, Christof Schütte (MATH+ Chair at that time) welcomed everyone to the Certificate Ceremony and gave a laudation of the MATH+ Dissertation Award winners from 2020 and 2021, a prize first initiated in 2020. The “Klezmeyers” Band provided musical entertainment between the certificate presentations. The evening closed with a lively reception.
The BMS Certificate Ceremony was part of the Celebrating Math! day on 01 July 2022.
Northern German Algebraic Geometry Seminar @HU Berlin
On 9-10 February 2023, the Northern German Algebraic Geometry Seminar (NoGAGS) will take place at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The NoGAGS is a regional meeting taking place every year since 2008, involving mainly the algebraic geometry groups in Berlin, Hannover, Leipzig, and Hamburg.
The event is organized by Gavril Farkas, Professor of Algebraic Geometry at HU Berlin, and Bruno Klingler, Einstein Professor at HU Berlin, whose main research interests lie in arithmetic geometry. Both mathematicians have recently been named MATH+ Distinguished Fellows; this award recognizes outstanding contributions to the mathematical sciences and supports the work of world-leading mathematicians in Berlin. Gavril Farkas is also one of the three Chairs of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS).
During the seminar, two significant prizes will be awarded for the best papers published in the journals "Algebraic Geometry" respectively "Compositio Mathematica" in 2017-2020. Both are prestigious, well-established journals of very high quality. Gavril Farkas, the Managing Editor of "Algebraic Geometry" and Bruno Klingler, the Managing Editor of "Compositio Mathematica", will present the prizes. The Foundation Compositio Mathematica, which publishes both journals, Compositio and Algebraic Geometry, has an outstanding record of supporting open-access journals and finding alternatives to commercial publishers. “It is the purpose of the foundation to publish first-class mathematical research papers.”
Apart from talks from the prize winners, the NoGAGS will feature further lectures from some of the top algebraic geometers in the world, like Claire Voisin (Chair of Algebraic Geometry at the Collège de France, Paris) and Rahul Pandharipande from ETH Zürich, who was an Einstein Visiting Fellow at the BMS from 2015-2019.
Another special talk will be given by Bernd Sturmfels on opportunities for PhD students and young postdocs in algebraic geometry. Sturmfels is the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences Leipzig and was an Einstein Visiting Fellow at the TU Berlin (2015-2020).
The event is open, and everyone is most welcome.
Please visit the event’s website for more information about the Prize Winners, all speakers, and the address: