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First overseas travel as newly elected President of FU Berlin takes Günter M. Ziegler to Brazil

News from Aug 17, 2018

Shortly before taking up the Presidency of the Freie Universität Berlin Professor Günter M. Ziegler resigned from his position as Chair of the Berlin Mathematical School. However, the first overseas trip in his new position shows his ongoing commitment to Mathematics, as he flew to São Paulo in order to participate in the General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) at the end of July. In São Paulo, the General Assembly decided to make the IMU Secretariat in Berlin permanent and elected Professor Ziegler to the IMU Executive Committee.

A “Research in Germany”-Seminar for researchers in Mathematics was offered in São Paulo shortly after the Assembly by representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Research Foundation (DFG), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Berlin Mathematical School (BMS), Technical University of Munich (TUM), and University of Münster. Dr. Forough Sodoudi, Managing Director of BMS, presented study and research opportunities at the BMS as well as BMS fellowship programs. Dr. Phillipo Lappicy, BMS Fellow, gave some insight into his time as a student and PhD fellow in Berlin. After the presentations, both remained at the students’ and researchers’ disposal and answered their questions.

Before continuing to Rio de Janeiro, Professor Ziegler visited the University of São Paulo (USP), where he met with Aucani Provost Professor Raul Machado Neto and further members of the rectorate, and the working spaces of Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America (Mecila) . Brazilian members of the Mecila consortium are USP and the research center CEBRAP. For the afternoon, alumni and partners were invited to a reception at the Goethe-Institut by the Liaison Office of Freie Universität in São Paulo on the occasion of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of FU Berlin. Welcome addresses held by Thomas Gödel, Vice-director of the Goethe-Institut São Paulo, and Axel Zeidler, Consul General in São Paulo, were followed by speeches by Professor Ziegler and Dr. Nina Reusch of the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut on the changing history of Freie Universität Berlin. Dr. Nicolas Wasser, Scientific Coordinator of Mecila, laid out the structure and research focus of the Centre.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Rio de Janeiro started in the beginning of August with the announcement of the Fields Medalists. The German delegation was delighted by the awarding of Professor Peter Scholze of the University of Bonn. Before the departure of the mathematicians, the DFG Office Latin America and the Liaison Office of FU Berlin held a reception at the residence of the German Consul General in Rio de Janeiro in order to discuss competition and cooperation in Mathematics as well as to celebrate once again the anniversary of Freie Universität and the Medal of Professor Scholze. A workshop about Study and Research in Germany was also offered during the Congress in Rio de Janeiro and individual consulting was provided at the German booth.

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