The BMS chairmanship rotates every two years between the three participating universities. In 2006, Ziegler was the first chair of the BMS, followed by Kramer, Polthier, Sullivan, and then Kramer once again.
Ziegler completed his PhD at MIT in 1987. After four years in Augsburg and a winter in Stockholm, he came to Berlin in 1992, where he worked at ZIB Berlin and completed the habilitation process for teaching at German universities at Technische Universität Berlin, where he was a professor of mathematics from January 1995 to February 2011. Since March 2011 he has been employed by Freie Universität Berlin, where he teaches and conducts research as a MATHEON professor.
BMS actively pursues the goals of internationality, gender equality, and diversity: Of 200 graduate students, about half come from outside Germany. BMS is one of the few graduate schools funded by the German Excellence Initiative that accepts graduate students directly after they have completed a bachelor's degree and rapidly prepares them for a doctorate through a structured course program. The diverse range of courses in mathematics is augmented by mentoring, soft skill seminars, summer schools, travel to conferences abroad, and special support for students who are parents.