An interview with Prof. Eva Viehmann

© MM/vl

Eva Viehmann has been Professor of Theoretical Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute at Münster University and investigator at the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster since February 2022. In this interview she talks about her research work, her career so far, her new start in Münster – and what she especially likes about her job.

Ms. Viehmann, what’s the focus of your research?
My field of work lies at the interface between several areas of pure mathematics. It’s part of the Langlands programme, which is investigating far-reaching, conjectured connections between algebraic number theory and representation theory. The methods used for this purpose come from algebraic geometry.

What are you currently researching into?
What interests me most of all are the geometric properties of moduli spaces which occur in the process – at the moment, primarily families of vector bundles on the so-called Fargues-Fontaine curve.

Where did you study and work before you came to Münster?  
I studied in Bonn, where I also did my PhD and spent a large part of my postdoc time. I also spent a year as a postdoc at the Université Paris-Sud in Orsay, as well as some months in Chicago. From 2012 I was a professor at the Technical University of Munich for ten years.

When you look back at your career so far, what would you say was a particularly important step for you?
A very important moment for me was the decision to move into the field of arithmetical geometry and write my PhD with Michael Rapoport as my supervisor. I took a very long time to think about this decision in order to find out what field really interested me and who I wanted to have supervising me – and I’m still very happy with this decision.

What decided you to accept the professorship in Münster?  
In Münster there’s a big, very active working group in the field of arithmetic, and I’ve been working with them for several years now. What’s really nice is to be able to intensify these contacts now – as well as with colleagues in adjacent fields.

You’ve been here at Münster University for a few months now. How has it been?
Everyone’s been really open and friendly, which is just great. Some joint projects have already started up – for instance, together with Eugen Hellmann and two other colleagues I’m organising a major conference to be held in the autumn of 2023.

What’s the best thing about being a mathematician?
What I particularly like about my job is that it gives you the time and the opportunity to think about questions long enough to really understand them. What fascinates me is how results which are already known have to be combined with new, creative ideas in order to develop a new theory.

About Eva Viehmann
Eva Viehmann was born in 1980. As an undergraduate studying mathematics at the University of Bonn, she held a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation). After completing her PhD in 2005 she worked as a postdoc at the Université Paris-Sud. From 2006 to 2012 she was a research associate at the University of Bonn. During this time she was also a visiting scholar in Chicago in 2008; she gained her habilitation in 2010. From 2011 to 2012 she was the holder of a Heisenberg scholarship awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2012 she was appointed as Professor of Algebra at Munich Technical University, and in February 2022 she moved to the University of Münster to become Professor of Theoretical Mathematics there. She is an investigator at the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster and at the Collaborative Research Centre 325 GAUS: Geometry and Arithmetic of Uniformized Structures.

In 2021, Eva Viehmann became a member of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences. She was invited as a speaker to the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Rio de Janeiro in 2018. In 2011 she received an ERC Starting Grant, and in 2017 an ERC Consolidator Grant. She was awarded the von Kaven Prize in 2017 and the Felix Hausdorff Memorial Prize of the University of Bonn in 2005.

Prof. Dr. Eva Viehmann: webpage and contact details

 Talk "Moduli spaces of local G-shtukas" at ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro

Video interview with Eva Viehmann for the series “SIGNIFICANT DE"SIGNIFICANT DETAILS – Gespräche mit forschenden Frauen“ (2013) [de]