MATH+: The Berlin Mathematics Research Center - Cluster of Excellence
Berlin is known worldwide as one of the most prestigious locations for applied mathematics. The Berlin Mathematics Research Center MATH+ is an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research cluster in which the entire Berlin mathematics community is involved. It is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the Excellence Strategy as a Cluster of Excellence since January 2019.
In MATH+, the institutes of mathematics at the three major Berlin universities (Technische Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin) and the two mathematical research institutes WIAS (Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics) and Zuse-Institut Berlin (Konrad-Zuse Center for Information Technology Berlin) work together and have combined their resources. So, the MATH+ community encompasses more than 100 international and interdisciplinary research groups.
The focus of MATH+ lies on application-oriented mathematics in collaboration with many other scientific disciplines to make progress on key issues in a variety of application areas. The influence of digitization opens up new opportunities for cooperation with other scientific disciplines. These include e.g. the life and material sciences as well as specialist areas that deal with networks, communication, energy, traffic and transportation; even collaboration with scientists from the humanities and social sciences is in progress. In cooperation with industry and society, mathematical models are used to tackle future problems such as sustainable energy supply, individualized medicine, or the analysis of social processes.
These novel application fields pose a multitude of new challenges to mathematical abstraction, methods, and problem-solving, thereby involving and driving diverse and sometimes unexpected areas of mathematics. MATH+ will advance fundamental mathematics by promoting innovative mathematical research directions and fields as well as by building new and sometimes unexpected bridges between different areas of mathematics.
The research aims to uncover hidden laws behind complex systems and thus enable a more fundamental understanding and improved predictions. This leads to new challenges for mathematical abstractions and problem-solving. Research activities focus on the development of new methods for modeling, simulation, and optimization. These will be expanded and extended through a continuous development of the research agenda to develop novel mathematical strategies for the use of complex data, as they are needed for technological and social innovations.
Research in MATH+ is multifaceted. It comprises project-oriented and project-independent mathematics research. The project-oriented research in MATH+ is structured into:
Application Areas (AA)
Emerging Fields (EF)
Incubator Projects (IN)
a Transfer Unit (TrU)
The mathematical research areas are:
Differential geometry, global analysis, and mathematical physics
Algebraic and arithmetic geometry, number theory
Stochastics and mathematical finance
Discrete mathematics and optimization
Geometry, topology, and visualization
Numerical analysis and scientific computing
Applied analysis and differential equations
Mathematics of data science
But the research activities in the eight mathematical research areas of MATH+ are not only limited to the classic form of a project, they also aim at the further development and progress in mathematics itself.
The innovative Topic Development Lab serves as a unique think tank, in which future mathematical fields of interest are developed. It is a central part of MATH+ that provides a platform for developing new topics, for building bridges between different fields of mathematics (e.g., between “pure” and “applied”), and for reaching out to other areas of science and potential cooperation partners outside of mathematics. The main activity of the TDL consists of Thematic Einstein Semesters (TES) funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin.
Positions offered by MATH+
PhD and Postdoc positions are available each year. Please check the MATH+ website for calls for applications. There are calls for MATH+ professorships and independent research groups.
The Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) is the graduate school of the Cluster of Excellence MATH+ and a joint endeavor of the mathematics departments at the three major universities in Berlin: Freie Universität (FU), Humboldt-Universität (HU), and Technische Universität (TU). It combines their broad expertise in mathematics into an excellent environment for graduate studies (from bachelor to doctorate).
The BMS offers
a coordinated, highly diverse course program in English,
access to all math research groups in Berlin for the doctorate (Phase II), in particular, to the DFG Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs) and other ongoing research projects,
mentoring and soft-skills training during the whole duration of studies, and
support in issues ranging from housing to visas and from child care to language courses.
The BMS PhD program is divided into two phases:
Phase I is a graduate course program designed to prepare students for the research that they will conduct in Phase II for their doctoral dissertations.
Funded in the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments from 2006-2018, the BMS will be further augmented as a graduate school by MATH+. Besides striving for excellence, the BMS is actively pursuing internationality, diversity, and equal opportunities for all genders. More than 200 PhD students from around 50 countries are currently working towards their PhDs at the BMS.
MATH+ Friday Colloquia
Held every two weeks during the semester, the MATH+ Friday Colloquia are aimed at a broad audience explicitly including students. The talks give an overview of large-scale connections and insights into mathematics as a whole. The distinguished international guest speakers are selected not only for the significance of their mathematical work, but also for their engaging presentation style and influence in the global mathematics community.
Each semester, the BMS designates one of the MATH+ Friday Colloquia as the Sonia Kovalevskaya Colloquium. This lecture features female mathematicians who are invited to share their experiences as women in mathematics.
The “What is ...?” Seminar is a weekly student-run seminar usually held before the MATH+ Friday Colloquium. It aims to complement the topic of the MATH+ Friday lecture.
The BMS study program is taught in English. Depending on the individual background, admission is to Phase I (typically with a bachelor’s degree) or directly to Phase II (for example, for students holding a master’s degree). This leads from a bachelor's degree to an oral qualifying exam directly to a doctoral degree in four to five years.
For admission to the BMS program in 2022, applications will be accepted via the online portal from 15 September to 1 December 2021 (first round) and from 1 March to 1 April 2022 (second round). More information concerning the application process: https://www.math-berlin.de/application