Overview of all von Kaven Award winners
- Interner Link mit Anker2022: Prof. Dr. Gandalf Lechner
- Interner Link mit Anker2021: Prof. Dr. Moritz Weber
- Interner Link mit Anker2020: Prof. Dr. Alexandra Carpentier
- Interner Link mit Anker2019: Prof. Dr. Nicolas Perkowski
- Interner Link mit Anker2017: PD Dr. Manuel Amann
- Interner Link mit Anker2015: Dr. Tobias Henrik Oertel-Jäger
- Interner Link mit Anker2014: PD Pavel Gurevich, Ph.D.
- Interner Link mit Anker2013: Dr. Oliver Rinne
- Interner Link mit Anker2012: Prof. Dr. Eva Viehmann
- Interner Link mit Anker2011: Dr. Christian Sevenheck
- Interner Link mit Anker2009: Dr. Alexander Lytchak
- Interner Link mit Anker2008: Prof. Dr. Arthur Bartels and Dr. Ulrich Görtz
- Interner Link mit Anker2007: Gitta Kutyniok
- Interner Link mit Anker2006: Dr. Hô Hai Phùng (in German only)
- Interner Link mit Anker2005: Prof. Dr. Otmar Venjakob and Prof. Dr. Erwin Stein (in German only)
2022: Prof. Dr. Gandalf Lechner
The 2022 von Kaven Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) goes to Heisenberg Professor Dr. Gandalf Lechner, Erlangen, for his achievements in the mathematical formulation of relativistic quantum systems. The €10,000 DFG award will be presented on 12 September at the annual meeting of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Berlin.
Gandalf Lechner’s research is at the interface between mathematics and physics and seeks to develop a mathematically rigorous description of quantum field theories (QFT). These currently form the basis of our understanding of elementary particles, therefore providing the theoretical underpinning for ex-periments with particle accelerators such as those carried out at the large-scale European research facility CERN near Geneva. Gandalf Lechner has used modern mathematical methods and tools such as non-commutative geometry and operator algebras to co-establish a new branch of QFT called “constructive algebraic quantum field theory”. His research also has links to quantum information processing. In addition, he puts his physics related intuition to productive use to solve purely mathematical problems, for example for the classification and representation theory of the infinite Zopf group.
Gandalf Lechner obtained his doctorate at the University of Göttingen in 2006; here he was also a member of the DFG-funded research project “Modular Structure and Particle Aspects of Quantum Field Theory”. He was then a guest researcher and research assistant at the Erwin Schrödinger Institute (ESI) at the University of Vienna, and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig up until 2015. From 2015 he worked as a Lecturer and Reader at the School of Mathematics at Cardiff University in the UK, where he led the Geometry, Algebra, Mathematical Physics, Topology (GAPT) research group from 2018 to 2021. Lechner has been a Heisenberg Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg since September 2021.
2021: Prof. Dr. Moritz Weber
The 2021 von Kaven Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) goes to Professor Dr. Moritz Weber for his achievements in the field of quantum groups and symmetries. Weber has been Heisenberg Professor at Saarland University since March 2021. His work mainly involves fundamental mathematical research at the interface between analysis, algebra and combinatorics. The €10,000 DFG von Kaven Award will be presented on 6 December 2021 in connection with the Gauss Lectureship of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Bremen. The laudation is to be given by computer scientist and DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Kerstin Schill via video link. The event will also be live streamed.
Moritz Weber’s research has contributed significantly to the field of compact quantum groups, with links to free probability theory, combinatorics and operator algebras. Weber made a name for himself in particular with his complete classification of the simple quantum groups, which he was able to achieve by describing algebraic, analytical and representation-theoretical properties using combinatorics. Using computer algebra, he also succeeded in providing fresh impetus for the general classification problem of quantum groups. His findings have been applied in quantum information theory as well as in other mathematical fields.
Moritz Weber completed his academic training at the University of Münster, where he was funded under a DFG Research Training Group as well as being involved in two DFG Collaborative Research Centres in the field of mathematics. In 2010, he moved to Saarland University. From there, postdoctoral stays abroad took him to the Fields Institute in Toronto, Canada, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, India, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He became a Junior Professor in Saarbrücken in 2015. Here he led a project as part of the CFC/Transregio “Symbolic Tools in Mathematics and their Application” from 2017 to 2020, and he has since successfully acquired further DFG projects. In 2016, Weber received the Saarland state government Higher Education Award for his voluntary commitment in providing mathematics refresher courses for refugees wishing to take a university degree. This also resulted in the creation of an Arabic-German mathematics textbook.
2020: Prof. Dr. Alexandra Carpentier
The 2020 von Kaven Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will be presented this year to Professor Dr. Alexandra Carpentier for her achievements at the interface between mathematics and computer science. Carpentier has been a W2 professor of mathematical statistics and machine learning at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg since 2017. Her research focuses on the combination of uncertainty quantification involving complex applications of artificial intelligence. The €10,000 von Kaven Award will be presented on 14 September 2020 during the annual conference of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Chemnitz, which is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The laudation will be given by Professor Dr. Felix Otto, a Leibniz Prize winner and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leip-zig.
Carpentier studied statistics, economics and probability theory at the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique (ENSAE) in Paris and at Paris Diderot University. After obtaining her doctorate in 2012 with a thesis in applied mathematics at the Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA) in Lille, she spent three years researching at the University of Cambridge. Since 2015 Carpentier has been head of a DFG-funded Emmy Noether independent junior research group, initially at the University of Potsdam and, since 2017, at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, where Carpentier holds a W2 professorship. In 2016 she was also a visiting professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre. Since 2017, Carpentier has been a project leader in a Collaborative Research Centre and has been involved in two Research Training Groups in mathematics.
In her research, Carpentier looks into questions relating to artificial intelligence: in an increasing number of fields such as medicine and mobility, important decisions are made (semi-) automatically on a computer-aided basis by way of recommendation systems. Here, it is important to know exactly what the estimation error is in order to be able to assess the risk involved. This is particularly true of sequential decisions in which a sequence of decisions is made, each based on the outcome of the previous one. Carpentier’s research therefore aims to achieve mathematically validated risk assessment of sequential decision algorithms using methods of mathematical statistics and machine learning.
2019: Prof. Dr. Nicolas Perkowski
The 2019 von Kaven Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) goes to Professor Nicolas Perkowski for his achievements in the field of probability theory. Since 2015, Perkowski has been conducting research as Junior Professor for Stochastic Analysis at the Humboldt University of Berlin, as well as being funded since 2018 under the DFG's Heisenberg Programme at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Natural Sciences in Leipzig. His work focuses on aspects that include non-linear stochastic partial differential equations. The EUR 10,000 von Kaven Award will be presented for the twelfth time on 23 September 2019, on this occasion at the annual conference of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Karlsruhe. The laudatory speech is to be given by mathematician and DFG Vice President Professor Marlis Hochbruck.
Perkowski is 35 years old and studied mathematics and physics at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where he also received his doctorate in 2013, as well as at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) in France. Research resulted in him visiting universities in Vienna, Paris and Warwick. In 2015, Perkowski became Junior Professor for Stochastic Analysis at the Humboldt University of Berlin and since 2018 is being funded by the DFG's Heisenberg Programme, which enables appointed researchers to continue high-profile projects at a place of their choice, and to further improve their scientific reputation. Perkowski has been joint project manager in a DFG research group since 2016, and is involved in a DFG-funded international research training group. He has been managing two projects for the Berlin MATH+ Cluster of Excellence since 2019, and he received the DFG's Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize in the same year. Perkowski will be following a call to the Free University of Berlin on 1 October.
The research conducted by the new winner of the von Kaven Award involves stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs), questions surrounding applied stochastic analysis, and robust procedures in the field of financial mathematics. Together with co-authors, he developed among others a highly regarded alternative approach to solving non-linear SPDEs, such as the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation, and was also able to prove for the first time the uniqueness of energy solutions for them.
2017: PD Dr. Manuel Amann
The von Kaven Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will be presented this year to Dr. Manuel Amann in recognition of his outstanding contribution to differential geometry and topology. Since October 2017, Amann has been researching in the differential geometry group at the University of Augsburg with a DFG Heisenberg fellowship, working on Lie group operations in geometry and topology. The von Kaven Award, which is worth €10,000, is being conferred for the eleventh time and will be presented on 23 October 2017 in conjunction with the Gauß lecture given under the auspices of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Regensburg. The laudation will be given by Prof. Dr. Christian Bär from the University of Potsdam, who is also a member of the DFG review board for mathematics.
Manuel Amann (38) studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Würzburg and in 2009 completed his doctorate on positive quaternionic Kähler manifolds at the University of Münster. In 2015 he completed his habilitation at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology with a dissertation on ‘Modelling Geometry in Algebra – Curvature, Holonomy and Actions’. He has spent periods working at the universities of Toronto and Pennsylvania, the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Rio de Janeiro and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley. In 2016, Amann successfully applied to the DFG’s Heisenberg Programme, which enables researchers eligible for a professorship to continue working on high-quality projects and developing their scientific reputation at the institution of their choice. Between April 2016 and March 2017, Amann held a temporary professorship at the University of Bonn.
Manuel Amann’s research work focuses on the interface between Riemannian geometry and algebraic topology. Among other things, he is interested in the question of how symmetrical curved spaces are and how curved those with symmetries are. In ongoing work, he intends to investigate this and other mathematical questions with a focus on the use of algebraic methods.
2015: Dr. Tobias Henrik Oertel-Jäger
Dr. Tobias Henrik Oertel-Jäger has won the 2015 von Kaven Award presented by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). Following his role as Head of a DFG-funded Emmy Noether independent junior research group at the Technical University of Dresden, the mathematician started the "Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems" Heisenberg professorship at the University of Jena in July. The von Kaven Award, which is worth €10,000, is being conferred for the tenth time and will be presented on 21 September 2015 at the opening event of the annual meeting of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Hamburg.
Tobias Oertel-Jäger's research field is “dynamical systems” and it ranges from theoretical work to applications in biology and physics. A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics that describes a certain class of models of time-dependent processes, which in synopsis raise very basic issues and are as important when describing many natural and technological processes. Tobias Oertel-Jäger's fundamental research work is part of the discipline called ergodic theory. This field of research attracts great international interest, as illustrated by the Fields Medal (often nicknamed the "Nobel Prize for mathematics") being awarded to Maryam Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work in this context. This fact, coupled with Oertel-Jäger's previous accomplishments, was enough to convince the von Kaven Award jury, the reviewers and the University of Jena that a Heisenberg professorship is an asset for mathematical research there. Aside from the applicant's excellent qualification, such a professorship requires a structural development plan and the university’s guarantee to institute the position after the end of the funding period upon receiving a positive evaluation.
Before applying for the Heisenberg professorship, Oertel-Jäger had been the Head of the Emmy Noether independent junior research group "Low-dimensional and Non-autonomous Dynamics" in Dresden since 2009. In this group, he researched topological and geometric aspects and probability theory in dynamical processes. He observed the rotation theory of surfaces, attractors and their properties, quasicrystals and the application in biological and physical systems. Within this framework, he substituted a Chair in a professorship for biomathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg for one quarter in 2012 and spent a month in 2014 as a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn.
Oertel-Jäger, whose reviews stress his high productivity and his good and international network, did not begin his career studying mathematics. His original studies were in biology. After completing the Vordiplom (intermediate diploma), he switched to mathematics and became a visiting student at several international universities. In 2005 he was conferred his doctorate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He then spent three months conducting research at the University of Surrey in the UK with funding of a Marie Curie Fellowship awarded by the European Commission. During his postdoctoral studies, he was granted a DFG Research Fellowship, which he spent between 2006 and 2009 at the Collège de France in Paris.
2014: PD Pavel Gurevich. Ph.D.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has selected mathematician PD Pavel Gurevich, Ph.D., from the Free University of Berlin to receive the 2014 von Kaven Award. Gurevich conducts research on nonlinear partial differential equations, focussing in particular on hysteresis phenomena and pattern-forming processes.
Originally from Russia, Pavel Gurevich has been a researcher at the Free University of Berlin since 2008, where he was initially involved in the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre "Complex Nonlinear Processes: Analysis – Simulation – Control – Optimisation". Since 2010 he has been working in the Collaborative Research Centre "Control of Self-Organising Nonlinear Systems: Theoretical Methods and Concepts of Application", which brings together mathematics, theoretical physics, chemistry and information technology. With a DFG-funded Heisenberg fellowship since 2013, Gurevich has dedicated more of his time to investigating "Non-Variational Hysteresis: Self-Organisation and Pattern Formation". He has developed new methods in this field which look at the existence and stability of solutions and which could help to answer questions in physics and in life and engineering sciences.
In 2009 at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Pavel Gurevich was awarded the title "Doctor of Physical-Mathematical Sciences", which is equivalent to a German habilitation. His subject was "Elliptic Problems with Non-Local Boundary Conditions and Feller Semi-Groups". The Russian Higher Attestation Commission (VAK) recognised the paper as the best in mathematics in 2008. This and other publications on "Problems with Non-Smooth Boundaries" have appeared in respected journals and are frequently cited. While working towards his habilitation, a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation brought the award winner to the University of Heidelberg from 2006 to 2008. He was awarded his doctorate in 2002 at the University of Lomonossow in Moscow, after completing a Master's degree at the State Aviation Institute there in 2000. Pavel Gurevich published for the first time two years before he graduated.
2013: Dr. Oliver Rinne
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has selected mathematician Oliver Rinne to receive the 2013 von Kaven Award for Mathematics for his outstanding work on the general theory of relativity and in the related areas of mathematical physics and geometric analysis.
Oliver Rinne's research focusses on areas related to the general theory of relativity, one of the pioneering discoveries made by Albert Einstein which, following Newton's classical theory, offers a completely new, geometric understanding of gravity. The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics where Rinne has worked for two years is named after Albert Einstein. The 36-year-old uses a combination of analytical and numeric methods to study Einstein's field equations. Rinne has developed a promising new approach that allows these equations to be handled analytically and numerically stable to infinity, a problem that had long been considered complex and unsolved. His work has also laid the foundations for one of the current methods of handling black holes in numerical relativity theory. He applies his exceptional analytical and numerical abilities to the study of gravitational collapse.
Oliver Rinne's academic career began in 1998 at the University of Heidelberg, where he studied physics and mathematics and in 2004 completed his degree in physics. He also acquired a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2002, where he subsequently obtained his doctorate. In 2004 he was awarded the Rayleigh-Knight Prize from the University of Cambridge and the Otto Haxel Prize from the University of Heidelberg. In 2005 he went to the California Institute of Technology to undertake postdoctoral studies for two years. This was followed by a research stay lasting several years at King's College, Cambridge. Since 2012, Oliver Rinne has been funded by the DFG as a Heisenberg Fellow.
2012: Prof. Dr. Eva Viehmann
Munich mathematician Eva Viehmann will receive the 2012 von Kaven Award in mathematics in recognition of her outstanding research in the field of arithmetic algebraic geometry. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, will be awarded by the DFG for theseventhtime and presented at a ceremony during the opening of the annual conference of the German Association of Mathematicians (DMV) in Saarbrücken on 17 September 2012.
The research conducted by this year’s von Kaven Award winner centres on the Langlands program, which consists of a wide-ranging series of conjectures that relate algebraic number theory to representation theory of algebraic groups. The program, which was proposed by Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands in the late 1960s, has developed into an important and highly relevant field of mathematical research, having resulted in several widely recognised applications in the field of number theory; examples include proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem by Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor. Through her investigations into the global structure of moduli spaces of p-divisible groups and into the definition of local G-shtukas, Viehmann has contributed new and original findings in this specialised area.
Eva Viehmann studied at the University of Bonn. It was there that she was honoured by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences with the Felix Hausdorff Memorial Award for the 2004-2005 academic year, in recognition of her doctoral thesis “On affine Deligne-Lusztig varieties for GL_n”. Following postdoctoral research stays in Paris, Chicago and Taipei and after qualifying as a university lecturer in mathematics in 2010, during 2011-2012 Eva Viehmann was a DFG Heisenberg fellow. In July 2011 she was named an individual project leader in the DFG-funded CRC/Transregio “Periods, Moduli Spaces and Arithmetic of Algebraic Varieties”, and in April 2012 she was appointed professor of algebra at the Technical University of Munich. Her working group is being set up through funding granted to the project “Moduli spaces of local G-shtukas” as part of a starting grant received from the European Research Council (ERC). Eva Viehmann is a member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and of the German National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina.
2011: Dr. 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.
2009: Dr. Alexander Lytchak
Mathematician Alexander Lytchak is to receive this year's von Kaven Award for Mathematics from the von Kaven Foundation, a fund administered by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), for his outstanding work in the field of differential geometry. The award, which includes prize money of 10,000 euros, honours Lytchak, whose work is funded by the DFG's Heisenberg Programme, mainly for his achievements in his primary research field, that of singular Riemannian foliations. Lytchak is, according to the rationale, imaginative and multi-talented with strong communication skills. He will be presented with the award during the German Mathematical Society (DMV)'s Gauss Lecture on 30 October 2009 in Aachen. DFG senator Professor Wolfgang Dahmen will give the laudation.
Alexander Lytchak was born in 1978 in Leningrad and studied mathematics in Bonn; after achieving his doctorate in 2001, he went on to qualify as a university professor in 2008. His high level of aptitude was demonstrated early on by his victory in the Russian Mathematical Olympiad in 1992 and in the German Federal Math Competitions in 1993 and 1995. Since achieving his doctorate, Lytchak's career has included work in two DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centres and in the "Foundations, Models, Applications" cluster of excellence at the University of Bonn. He maintains diverse international cooperation projects. In addition to Münster, his current Heisenberg fellowship takes him to Brazil, Canada and the USA. These international exchanges are intended to advance his work in the areas of singular Riemannian foliations and metric spaces with non-positive curvature. Both fields are cutting-edge research topics in differential geometry.
2008: Prof. Dr. Arthur Bartels and Dr. Ulrich Görtz
Two outstanding young researchers have been selected to receive the von Kaven Prize in mathematics from the von Kaven Foundation, which is administered by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The recipients of the award in 2008, the Year of Mathematics, are Professor Dr. Arthur Bartels, who works on topology at the University of Münster, and Dr. Ulrich Görtz, who works on number theory at the University of Bonn. The prizes, which are worth 10,000 euros each, will be awarded at a ceremony during the opening of the annual conference of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Erlangen on 15 September 2008. The award will be presented on behalf of the DFG by Professor Thomas Peternell, a member of the mathematics review board and the award selection committee. The prize is funded from the proceeds of the von Kaven Foundation, which was established in December 2004 by mathematician Herbert von Kaven, from Detmold.
Prof. Dr. Arthur Bartels, 36, works in the field of geometric and algebraic topology. After completing his degree in mathematics in 1997 at the University of Mainz, Professor Bartels, who was born in Tübingen, obtained his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego in 1999, before gaining his habilitation in mathematics from the University of Münster in 2005. His work there included a period as a postdoctoral researcher as part of Collaborative Research Centre 478 "Geometrical Structures in Mathematics", which was funded by the DFG, before being awarded a Heisenberg fellowship by the DFG in 2007. After spending winter semester 2007/08 as a visiting lecturer at Imperial College London, Bartels then accepted an appointment to a chair at the University of Münster in April 2008. His research focuses primarily on the so-called Farrell Jones Conjecture and related problems. This conjecture is important to understanding the topology of manifolds, in other words, of generalised surfaces, some in higher dimensional spaces.
Dr. Ulrich Görtz, who is 35, works in the field of arithmetic algebraic geometry. After graduating from the University of Münster in 1997, Görtz wrote his thesis at the University of Cologne, where he received his doctorate in 2000. He also gained a wealth of international experience, spending periods at the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Fields Institute in Toronto and at the University of Chicago. In late 2006 Görtz earned his habilitation at the University of Bonn, from where he successfully applied for a Heisenberg fellowship from the DFG in 2007, with which he is now working at the Mathematical Institute in Bonn. He is particularly interested in algebraic geometric problems which originate from the Langlands program or the theory of Shimura varieties. This also involves relations to numerous other areas in mathematics, for instance to algebraic geometry and number theory, and in particular to representation theory.
2007: Gitta Kutyniok
Gitta Kutyniok, a mathematician from Giessen, has been selected to receive this year's von Kaven Prize in Mathematics for her outstanding work in the field of applied harmonic analysis. This prize is awarded by the von Kaven Foundation, which is administered by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The mathematician, who was born in 1972 and is currently funded in the DFG's Heisenberg Programme, will be presented with the prize at the Gauß Lecture, held by the German Mathematical Society (Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, DMV) in Marburg on 16 November 2007. This year is the third time that the von Kaven Prize has been awarded. The von Kaven Prize in Mathematics is endowed with 10,000 euros and is financed by the von Kaven Foundation, which was established in December 2004 by the mathematician Herbert von Kaven. Like Herbert von Kaven himself, Gitta Kutyniok comes from Detmold.
This year's winner of the von Kaven Prize is working on wavelets, curvelets and, something she herself developed, shearlets, which are systems of functions that can be useful in signal analysis. Her research has very tangible applications. For instance, the shearlets Kutyniok developed assist in the analysis of vast amounts of data. In particular, they can be used to detect the geometric properties of data volumes, for instance the direction of edges in images. This makes these functions useful for purposes such as analysing data generated by tomographs and other medical devices, and for data compression of image formats such as JPG. Working together with Canadian researchers, Kutyniok hopes to use shearlets to identify stable and efficient algorithms for the analysis of seismic signals generated by studies of the Earth's crust. She is also investigating the fundamental properties of function systems as well as the mathematical modelling of sensor networks using the theory of fusion frames, which she also proposed.
Gitta Kutyniok is funded by the DFG's Heisenberg Programme. At present she is living in the USA, where she is collaborating with Professor Dave Donoho in Stanford and Professor Ingrid Daubechies in Princeton. Her ambition, however, is to be appointed as a professor in Germany. In addition to her research honoured by this prize, she also has a great passion for academic teaching, having originally wanted to become a teacher.