Prof. Günter M. Ziegler was born in Munich in 1963. After first studying at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), he earned his doctorate in 1987 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA). Following four postdoc years in Augsburg and a research stay in Stockholm, he came to Berlin in 1992, where he worked at the Konrad Zuse Center (today’s Zuse Institute Berlin). Ziegler completed the habilitation process at Technische Universität Berlin, where he worked as a professor of mathematics from January 1995 through February 2011. Since March 2011 he has been doing research and teaching at Freie Universität Berlin, and since May 2017 he has also been an adjunct professor at Technische Universität Berlin. In 2006 he was in charge of setting up Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) as a joint graduate school of the three major Berlin universities. Günter M. Ziegler has been the president of Freie Universität Berlin since July 6, 2018.
In 2001 Ziegler was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for his research. In 2008 he received the Communicator Award of the DFG and the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany). In 2010 he was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, and in November 2017 he was awarded the Berlin Science Prize of the Governing Mayor of Berlin.
Ziegler is a member of the board of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, a member of the German National Academy, Leopoldina, and the German Academy of Engineering Sciences, acatech, as well as a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. From 2006 to 2008 Ziegler was president of the German Mathematical Society (DMV).
Ziegler is committed to promoting a diverse and lively public image of mathematics. He was an initiator of the Year of Mathematics in 2008, and currently directs the DMV’s Media Bureau of Mathematics as well as the DMV’s Network Office School – Higher Education. In mathematics Ziegler deals with aspects of discrete geometry, especially the theory of polyhedra, with algebraic and topological methods in combinatorics, and with problems of optimization.
Ziegler has published numerous essays and books, dealing both with mathematics as well as popular science. Together with Professor Martin Aigner, he wrote Das BUCH der Beweise (Proofs from the BOOK), which is available in 14 languages. In January 2018 the book was awarded the Steele Prize for Exposition by the American Mathematical Society (AMS).