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Christian Sevenheck Wins the 2011 von Kaven Award

DFG honours mathematician from Mannheim for research on complex algebraic geometry and singularity theory

Dr. Christian Sevenheck

Dr. Christian Sevenheck

© Christian Sevenheck

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to honour Mannheim-based mathematician Christian Sevenheck with the von Kaven Award for Mathematics for his outstanding work in the field of complex algebraic geometry and singularity theory. Sevenheck will receive the prize, which is worth 10,000 euros, for his contributions to research in this current and dynamic mathematical field. The von Kaven Award will be presented as part of the opening ceremony of the German Mathematical Society (DMV)’s annual conference in Cologne on 19 September, 2011.

Christian Sevenheck (36), who is currently a DFG Heisenberg fellowship recipient, performs research into such topics as Frobenius manifolds, twistor structures, Hodge theory and mirror symmetry. His work focuses on very challenging problems in algebraic geometry and singularity theory, a field which not only promises to yield exciting findings for mathematics, but which also takes inspiration from current issues in theoretical physics. Before taking up his studies at the University of Mannheim, where he completed his habilitation in 2009, Sevenheck studied mathematics and physics in Düsseldorf. He earned his doctorate at the University of Mainz in 2003. Afterwards, Sevenheck was awarded a DFG research fellowship to study at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he strengthened his contacts and collaboration with leading international scholars in his field. The results of his work have been published in internationally renowned mathematical journals, where they have impressed readers with their outstanding quality and originality.

The 2011 von Kaven Award will again be awarded at the DMV’s annual meeting. The laudation to Christian Sevenheck will be given by Professor Wolfgang Lück, a member of both the selection committee and the DFG’s mathematics review board. Professor Lück is a Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prizewinner who also served as the DMV’s president in 2009 and 2010. The conference will provide mathematicians with a variety of dif-ferent opportunities for exchanging ideas and expertise, and will also feature two events aimed at the gen-eral public. On 19 September, the number theorist Professor Marcus du Sautoy from Oxford will give a speech on “Secret Mathematicians”. Like mathematicians, du Sautoy propounds, artists also seek out fasci-nating structures. On 20 September, journalist Christoph Drösser and mathematicians Professor Martin Grötschel and Professor Matthias Kreck will take part in a panel discussion debating the issue “Was ist eigentlich Mathematik?“ [“What, Exactly, is Mathematics?”].

The prize money for the von Kaven Award is donated by the DFG-managed foundation of the same name, which was established by Detmold mathematician Herbert von Kaven in December 2004. von Kaven died in the summer of 2009, at the age of 101. His particular interest in the fundamental principles of mathematics persisted well into his old age, and he demonstrated a lifelong commitment to their advancement.