"A great honour": Leibniz Prize for mathematician Eva Viehmann
In recognition of her outstanding research work, mathematician Prof. Eva Viehmann from the University of Münster has been awarded the 2024 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Worth 2.5 million euros, the Leibniz Prize is the most valuable research prize awarded in Germany. “This prize is a great honour for me,” says Eva Viehmann. The phone call from the DFG came as a surprise for her this morning. “I was just talking to the tradesmen about repairs to the central heating,” she says. At the University of Münster she has found an “ideal research environment”, she says, both in mathematics in general and in her working group dealing with arithmetic geometry. “The prize makes these already good conditions even better, even more perfect,” she says. “It enables me to build up my working group in a way I had always dreamt of.”
Eva Viehmann is the tenth person from Münster University to be awarded a Leibniz Prize. The last recipients were Prof. Frank Glorius (Chemistry) and Prof. Thomas Bauer (Islamic Studies), on whom the honour was conferred in 2013.
The Rector of the University of Münster, Prof. Johannes Wessels, also praises the prize-winner’s outstanding work. “We are very proud that one of the most highly regarded mathematicians teaches and researches at our University,” he says. “This award is yet another example of the excellence which our University demonstrates in the field of mathematics. With the ‘Mathematics Münster’ Cluster of Excellence, the planned ‘Centre of Mathematics Münster’, various DFG Collaborative Research Centres and Priority Programmes and numerous research awards, our Mathematics Faculty attracts researchers and students from all over the world.”
In its citation, the DFG – which this year again awarded a Leibniz Prize to ten researchers – pointed out in particular Eva Viehmann’s influential work on arithmetic algebraic geometry as part of the Langlands Programme. This programme, set up by Robert Langlands in 1967, consists of a series of far-reaching conjectures connecting number theory and representation theory with each other. The programme is one of the most fascinating in theoretical mathematics, and the research entailed has by no means been completed. It comprises seemingly enigmatic connections between prime numbers, whole number solutions of polynomial equations and “arithmetic” on the one hand, and the harmonic analysis of oscillations and spectrums on the other. Eva Viehmann, says the DFG, is “significantly advancing” this field of research with her work.
About Eva Viehmann
Born in 1980, Eva Viehmann studied mathematics at the University of Bonn. 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, and during this time she undertook research as a visiting academic at the University of Chicago. In 2010 there followed her habilitation in Bonn. In 2012 she was appointed Professor of Algebra at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In February 2022 she moved to Münster University, having been appointed to the Chair of Theoretical Mathematics there. She is a member of the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster and the Collaborative Research Centres "Geometry and Arithmetic of Uniformized Structures" and "Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity".
Eva Viehmann has received numerous awards for her research work. The European Research Council (ERC) awarded her an ERC Starting Grant in 2011 and, six years later, a Consolidator Grant. She has received the von Kaven Award for outstanding research work in mathematics, as well as the Felix Hausdorff Memorial Prize from the University of Bonn. In 2018 she was the spokesperson at the international Mathematicians Congress in Rio de Janeiro. She was appointed a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2021.
About the Prize
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is awarded every year and is the most important research award in Germany. Up to ten prizes can be awarded per year, each worth 2.5 million euros. The aim of the Leibniz Programme is to improve the working conditions for outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, ease their administrative workload, and make it easier for them to engage especially well-qualified younger researchers. The funding is only granted after being proposed by a third party. The decision on who is to receive a prize is made by the DFG Joint Committee. In the process this year, 150 applications were submitted, from which the Committee selected the ten winners. The Leibniz Prizes will be awarded in Berlin on 13 March 2024.