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Maike Frantzen
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Postdoc to PhD: Dr. Liesel Sommer

© wwu/Sommer

Dr. Liesel Sommer is currently a member in the working group applications of PDEs at the WWU.
In this interview she would like to share her experiences so far as a postdoc and during her doctorate with you. The interview took place on July 28th, 2020.

What are you working on? / What is your research topic?
In my work I simulate propagation of fractures. Here the usual grid based FEM methods run into problems as fractures do not only propagate along element boundaries. I combine two different approaches to tackle this problem. The introduction of a phase field smears the crack out, making exact resolving by the grid unnecessary. On the other hand, unfitted methods, like the unfitted discontinuous Galerkin method I apply, can handle discontinuities of solutions inside of elements, thus allowing a fracture to propagate trough elements.  

How did you find your research topic?
The supervisor of my PhD had a couple of ideas in mind when I started working. Together we decided for one direction. Then, during my work, I focused on the things that I found most interesting.

What does a normal working day look like? What is the difference to your PHD time?
A normal working day does not differ that much from PhD life.
Depending on my current focus I either tackle analytical problems on the paper, studying relevant literature, or I program the simulations, search for errors in source code and run convergence tests to validate my algorithms and programs.
Nevertheless, there are some differences. First, as I do not want to stay in academics, I feel a lot less pressure now and it is easier for me to get my mind off the job after work. Second, obviously I spend much less time writing things down and proof reading than in the last months of my PhD.
I would say the Postdoc for me is more like the second phase of a PhD. You are well into your subject and do the actual work, going to conferences and maybe writing first papers, but not yet writing it all down. The third big difference is sitting at home in my Home Office, discussing much less with colleagues due to Corona. But I guess that is the same for all of us.   

"Bridging the Gap" seminar: O-Minimality and the André-Oort Conjecture

© MM

Prof. Dr. Urs Hartl and Prof. Dr. Martin Hils organize the "Bridging the Gap" seminar "O-Minimality and the André-Oort Conjecture" which connects Model Theory and Arithmetic Algebraic Geometry. It will be held on Tuesdays, 2-4 pm. PhD students and master's students may enroll. The seminar will start in the first week of November, and the first organisation meeting will be on 6 October 2020, 2:15 pm, via Zoom.

Maike Frantzen
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PhD to PhD: Jannes Bantje

© wwu/bantje

Jannes Bantje is a doctoral student in the topology working group of the wwu and is supervised by Johannes Ebert.
He does his thesis in the field of geometric topology. There he studies spaces of positive scalar curvature with methods from the theory of cobordism categories and spaces of manifolds.
In this interview he would like to share his experiences so far during his doctorate with you:

Why did you choose Münster for your PhD?
I already did my Bachelor and Master degree in Münster and when the opportunity to stay here for a PhD arose, I did not hesitate, since Münster fits my mathematical interests, my girlfriend has a job here and I really like the city.

How did you find your research topic?
It was proposed to me by my advisor with my previous knowledge in mind (I am a topologist with some background in C*-algebras, not terrified by differential geometry).

How long should a PhD thesis be?
That depends. Brevity should definitely be a goal, but it has to be weighed with thoroughness. If you do not have to lay groundworks and the available literature is highly compatible, you might do with less than 50 pages. On the other end of the spectrum, there might be theses, where more than 100 pages are totally appropriate.

Full interview

Maike Frantzen
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MMGS Retreat 2020

MMGS Retreat 2020 images

© wwu/bantje
  • © wwu/bantje
  • © wwu/bantje

The first MMGS retreat took place in Duisburg. This event contributes to the networking of the members of the Graduate School. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the MMGS Retreat was an important networking tool in the MMGS.

The retreat focused on personal future planning. In addition to a series of lectures on the application process in an academic and non-academic environment, there was also a workshop on finding professional and personal goals in life.

The professional and personal exchange also did not fall by the wayside. There was enough time during the evening events to have interesting conversations, to get to know each other and to exchange ideas about his own research topics.

Maike Frantzen
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Registration for the Retreat 2020 has started

Registration for the Retreat 2020 is possible until July 26th, 20:            Registration

It will take place in the Duisburg Sportpark youth hostel from 25.08-27.08.2020

Maike Frantzen
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New MMGS-project: PhD to PhD

© mschmetkamp

The new MMGS project 'PhD to PhD' starts today. In this series of interviews, members of the MMGS will talk about their doctoral studies, their experiences with the MMGS and the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster.

The first interview is with Markus Schmetkamp. He is in the final phase of his doctorate and reports on his time in Münster in this interview.  Thereby he will give useful advices to the MMGS members:

Why did you choose Münster for your PhD?
I already studied mathematics in Münster. I like the city very much. I also got to know the working group and my advisor early on.

How did you find your research topic?
My advisor had a rough idea of a theorem I should prove. It took several months until I understood what the content of that theorem could be. It got a lot better over the time and in later phases I had my own ideas of theorems worth proving. In the end my research topic is a combination of both the idea of my supervisor and one of my own ones.

What would you like to have done differently during your PhD?
At some point I started using git as part of making backups. I wish I had used that earlier and even more I wished I had used it properly. There were many times that I updated whole parts of my dissertation because results had to be stated more generally. Sometimes I went into a wrong direction. Sometimes I realized that what I did before was not so bad after all. A proper version control helps a lot of keeping track of such things.
More

The entire interview can be viewed by all members of the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster in the 'Members Only' area of the MMGS.

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    Maike Frantzen
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    Retreat 2020

    The Retreat 2020 has been postponed to a new date due to corona virus restrictions.
    It will now take place in the Duisburg Sportpark youth hostel from 25.08-27.08. A new registration will be activated here in the foreseeable future. If you are unable to attend the replacement date, please contact Gabi Dierkes regarding the reimbursement of the registration fee.

    Maike Frantzen
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    Update SoSe 2020

    Due to the current closure of the department because of COVID-19 the progress reviews do not have to be submitted.
    If problems arise with the research due to the current situation, MMGS will be happy to help.

    Maike Frantzen
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    © MM/vl

    MMGS Welcome Event

    Official press release of the cluster of excellence and  WWU celebrating the opening of the Gradute school on the Welcome Event 2019.