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French Mathematician Is First Einstein Professor at Freie Universität Berlin

Hélène Esnault Starts October 1st

№ 274/2012 from Sep 26, 2012

As of October 1, 2012, one of the world’s most influential mathematicians will be teaching and conducting research in Berlin. Hélène Esnault, the first Einstein Professor at Freie Universität, will contribute to enriching Berlin as a center for outstanding science. The appointment of Hélène Esnault as a professor of number theory was sponsored by the Berlin Einstein Foundation.

Hélène Esnault's work covers the mathematical fields of analysis, geometry, and number theory. In recent years mathematicians have transcended the traditional borders of their subdisciplines in order to gain new, sometimes sensational, findings. With her research in the area of Diophantine mathematics, Hélène Esnault is contributing to the development of the border area between number theory and algebraic geometry.

"Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, rapidly absorbing anything new. Arithmetic geometry is not yet a priority in Berlin. In all modesty, I will work to change that so that in the future this abstract field of mathematics will be one of the academic highlights of this beautiful and diverse city," said Hélène Esnault.

From 1990 to 2012 Hélène Esnault, a native of France, held a chair in mathematics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where her husband Eckart Viehweg also held a chair in mathematics until his death in 2010. During this period the two leading mathematicians jointly published more than 20 major publications. In 2003 the couple was awarded a Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) for their outstanding achievements in mathematics. The Leibniz Prize is considered to be the most important research award in Germany. Hélène Esnault is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. She has received numerous awards in France and abroad.

Hélène Esnault has many professional connections transcending disciplinary and national borders. Recently she has been cooperating intensively with quantum physicists and has achieved remarkable results. For a long period of time, Esnault has been cultivating international contacts around the world, from colleagues at the best North American universities to prestigious institutes in Vietnam and China.

The State of Berlin founded the Berlin Einstein Foundation in 2009. The purpose of the Einstein Foundation is to promote science and research in Berlin at the highest international level and to permanently establish Berlin as an attractive research location.

Further Information

Christian Martin, Berlin Einstein Foundation, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 20370-248, Email: