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About President Günter M. Ziegler

Günter M. Ziegler was born in Munich in 1963. After first studying Mathematics and Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, he earned his doctorate in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (USA) in 1987. Following a four-year postdoc in Augsburg and a research stay in Stockholm, he came to Berlin in 1992, where he worked at the Konrad Zuse Zentrum (today’s Zuse Institute Berlin). Ziegler received his postdoctoral university instruction qualification (Habilitation) at Technische Universität Berlin, where he was professor of mathematics from January 1995 to February 2011. Since March 2011, he has been conducting research and teaching at Freie Universität Berlin. Concurrently, he has also been an adjunct professor at Technische Universität Berlin since May 2017. In 2006 he was in charge of establishing the Berlin Mathematical School as a joint graduate school of Berlin’s three major universities. Professor Ziegler has been the president of Freie Universität Berlin since July 6, 2018. From November 2018 to November 2020 he was the first spokesperson for the Berlin University Allliance, where he continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. He has served as the Vice Chair of the German U15 group of research-intensive universities since September 2020.

As a mathematician, Ziegler deals with aspects of discrete geometry, especially the theory of polyhedra, with algebraic and topological methods in combinatorics, and with problems of optimization. In 2001, Ziegler was awarded the German Research Foundation’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his research. In 2010, he received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, and in November 2017, he was the recipient of the Berlin Science Prize, awarded by 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 of Sciences Leopoldina, and of acatech – Germany’s National Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. From 2006 to 2008, Ziegler was the president of the German Mathematical Society (DMV), where he still serves as a member of the executive board. In addition, he was a member of the executive board of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities from 2010 to 2018 and a member of the senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2014 to 2018.

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 Office for Networking Schools and Universities. In 2008, he received the Communicator Award from the DFG and the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany). Starting in 2021, he will chair the steering committee of Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue, WiD). Ziegler has published numerous essays and books on mathematics and popular science. Together with Professor Martin Aigner, he wrote 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.