Geometry: a powerful tool

DFG funds new Collaborative Research Centre "Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity"
Prof. Dr. Arthur Bartels is the spokesperson of the new CRC.
© MM/Dominik Münsterkötter

A great success at the University of Münster! The German Research Foundation (DFG) will be providing 6.5 million euros to fund a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. The large-scale project, “Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity”, aims to develop geometry both as a subject in its own right and as a tool for other mathematical fields. The Centre has been funded for four years and will open on 1 July of this year. Prof. Arthur Bartels will be the spokesperson, Prof. Burkhard Wilking and Prof. Eugen Hellmann his deputies.

“Geometry has evolved into a cornerstone of modern mathematics: a source of important theories and questions, and a powerful tool to visualize and to solve problems in many other areas of mathematics,” says Arthur Bartels. “Looking at an abstract mathematical problem from a geometric point of view quite often opens up a path to its solution.”

Celebrating the success - via video conference.
© MM/vl

The researchers involved in the new CRC will focus on two antagonistic geometric concepts: deformations and rigidity. They can be applied in many different situations, making the transfer of methods particularly fruitful. The newly generated insights should produce scientific breakthroughs concerning, for example, the Langlands programme, positive curvature manifolds, K-theory, group theory, and C*-algebras.

“Münster is known around the world as a research centre for mathematics, especially geometry. With the help of the new CRC, we aim to further strengthen this position,” as Eugen Hellmann emphasizes. The majority of the funding will go to new positions for doctoral students and postdocs in order to attract promising young scientists to the Centre and keep them in Münster.

Map of research areas involved in the CRC.
© SFB Geometry

The researchers will benefit from the Cluster of Excellence “Mathematics Münster: Dynamics – Geometry – Structure”, which is also being funded by the DFG and has been establishing and promoting new organizational structures, international networking and mutual exchanges since the beginning of 2019. “The integration of the CRC into the Cluster enables interaction with other research groups,” says Burkhard Wilking. “This gives us the opportunity to develop exciting cross-connections with other mathematical subdisciplines.”

The two spokespersons of the Cluster, Prof. Christopher Deninger and Prof. Mario Ohlberger, are also pleased about the CRC funding approval. “We congratulate all those who were involved in the successful application,” said Mario Ohlberger. “This is a great asset for mathematics in Münster,” adds Christopher Deninger.


Prof. Dr. Arthur Bartels

Press release of the University of Münster