November 1, 2015

Professor Witt, what excites you about mathematics?

Interview with Prof. Dr Frederik Witt

"What already excited me as a student was the great diversity and the possible applications of mathematics. Starting with the logical foundations with their ramifications in philosophy and computer science to portfolio optimisation in finance, mathematics is the basis and tool for a wide range of subjects.

My field of work, geometry, arose from very practical issues such as land surveying and astronomy. Even Gauss came to geometry through his work as observatory director in Göttingen and land surveyor of the Kingdom of Hanover! Even today, important impulses and developments result from the applications, such as Einstein's general theory of relativity, or high-energy and elementary particle physics.In the context of a current research project, I am working on Higgs bunches, whose namesake is the Higgs boson discovered at CERN in 2013.

On the other hand, geometry has also contributed a lot to the further development in algebra, analysis and topology, and has produced quite unexpected applications. Cryptographic methods based on the geometry of so-called elliptic curves have become indispensable in our modern world of communication. Above all, however, the fusion of physical ideas with the almost entire breadth of mathematics represents a special attraction of geometry for me. Together with my colleagues Michael Eisermann and Uwe Semmelmann from the Institute of Geometry and Topology, I hope to be able to convey this fascination and enthusiasm for geometry to the students in Stuttgart."

Prof. Dr. Frederik Witt
Chair of Differential Geometry
at the Institute for Geometry and Topology

Homepage Prof. Frederik Witt

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