Usually, selected BMS applicants are invited to travel to Berlin to participate in the BMS Days – an important annual BMS event to recruit promising young scientists. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the BMS Days took place online for the second time, from 21-22 February 2022.
This year’s online format presented new activities in a mixture of zoom talks, poster sessions, and virtual interactive encounters via the meetingland event platform. The purpose of the BMS Days was only for the applicants to get to know the BMS. The invited applicants were introduced to the graduate school’s program and had the opportunity to ask questions about living and studying in Berlin.
40 Phase I and 4 Phase II applicants from 15 countries attended in different time zones and therefore in two groups. On the first day, the students received an overview of the BMS program and the students’ life in Berlin. This was followed by group meetings where applicants had the chance to ask the BMS students, faculty members, and office staff questions in a smaller, more informal settings. To conclude the day, the BMS Student Representatives arranged an online game. The second day gave an insight into different mathematical research topics. The lectures were given by Claudia Schillings (currently at the University of Mannheim), who will start as the new MATH+ professor at FU Berlin in March, on “Uncertainty Quantification and Inverse Problem” and Thomas Walpuski of HU Berlin on “Invariants of manifolds arising from partial differential equations”. Both talks were preceded by the student-run “What is…?” seminars to give the audience a basic introduction. Afterwards, the applicants had the chance to meet BMS postdocs and PhD students in a poster session and learn about their research experiences.
As always, the BMS Days were followed by the BMS Student Conference from 23-25 February. The main goals of the Student Conference are to connect both current and prospective students and help prospective students get to know the mathematical landscape in Berlin and the social environment at the BMS. Additonally, two invited talks were given by Chris Wendl (HU Berlin) and Peter Schröder (Caltech).
Despite the great virtual experiences and opportunities to get to know each other, the BMS hopes to welcome the next group of applicants in person again in 2023.