Mathematics Establishing Departmental Partnership with Columbian Universities

A project outline on the board — photo: Konrad Waldorf

The research project ‘Representations of Multiplicative Gerbes’ looks at a problem in the field of pure mathematics, which should connect group theory, higher category theory and group representation to one another.

Pure mathematics looks at abstract mathematical questions and problems. The abstractness enables both a clear view of the heart of problems, as well as a broad and efficient application in very varied, specific situations. The theories developed for solving abstract problems regularly form the basis for future applications that had not been or are not evident at the time when they were made. An example of this is differential geometry, which formed the basis for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. It had been developed 50 years previously, mainly by Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) and Carl-Friedrich Gauß (1777-1855), and today makes it possible to use GPS for precise positioning, which is now taken for granted. A further example is the theory of elliptic curves, which was developed around 1900, and is today used to encode (ECC) day-to-day electronic correspondence.

Research in pure mathematics is about discovering patterns and relationships in an unknown and unlimited world of structures, to explore them and prove them using logical reasoning. Communication and discussions are particularly important for collaborations with several researchers or research groups. In spite of all the technological progress, personal discussions and joint brainstorming at a conventional board are amongst the most important work methods.

The funding will make it possible for scientists, their colleagues and doctoral candidates to spend longer periods of time at the University of Greifswald or at the Columbian partner institutions to work jointly on the research project. The results of this collaboration will be presented and discussed at an international workshop in Greifswald towards the end of the funding period.


Further Information
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science
Universidad del Norte
La Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Konrad Waldorf
Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science
Walther-Rathenau-Straße 47, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4614