Professor Dr. Caterina Zeppieri
Caterina Zeppieri is professor for Analysis and Modelling. Her research interests are the Calculus of Variations, elliptic PDEs, Gamma-convergence, Homogenization and Free-discontinuity Problems. Her research is often motivated by questions arising in Materials Science and Mathematical Physics.
Caterina Zeppieri, born in 1978, studied mathematics at the Sapienza University of Rome where she also received her doctorate in 2007. After a stay at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, she undertook postdoctoral research at SISSA International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, and subsequently at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics in Bonn. The University of Surrey, in UK, offered her a permanent position in 2012 but she opted instead for a junior professorship for Analysis and Modelling at WWU Münster. In 2016 she was promoted to associate professor.
What is the most beautiful aspect about being a mathematician for you?
The absolute freedom I have follow my curiosity and my mathematical inclinations. I appreciate very much a job which gives me the opportunity to study what I like most and to keep expanding the boundaries of my knowledge.
Another aspect of this job which I find particularly beautiful is the way mathematics combines methodology and creativity. A mathematician has to follow certain rules but, sometimes, has to look at them from a different perspective and reinterpret them, in order to gain a full understanding of a mathematical question. Finding the balance between these two apparently conflicting aspects makes for a job which is never boring.
Looking back, what were the most important moments in your career?
The moment I passed the examination to enter the graduate school of Sapienza in Rome because this is when it all started.
Then, the moment my first graduate student got her PhD because, for me, being a mathematician is also about sharing knowledge with young people.