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