Freie Universitaet Berlin: Prof. Dr. Günter M. Ziegler zum Präsidenten der Freien Universität Berlin wiedergewählt

Professor of mathematics Günter M. Ziegler has been reelected president of Freie Universität Berlin. During a session of the Extended Academic Senate on Wednesday, February 17, 2022, Ziegler received 46 of 61 votes cast in the first ballot. The opposing candidate, Dr. Beatrix Busse, received 14 votes. The 61 members of the Extended Academic Senate were entitled to vote, and the absolute majority, or 31 votes, was required to win. Professor Ziegler has been in office since 2018.

The president of Freie Universität is appointed by the Berlin Senate; the term of office lasts four years from July 6 of the election year. The Central Election Committee requests that the Berlin Senate appoint the candidate as soon as the final results are announced. Following the president’s official appointment, the process to nominate the executive vice president and further vice presidents is carried out. It is planned that the president, executive vice president, and other vice presidents will take office on July 6, 2022. The current Executive Board will continue to conduct their official duties until their successors take up their new positions.

Professor Günter M. Ziegler

Professor Günter M. Ziegler was born in Munich in 1963. Having first completed his studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, he went on to earn his doctorate in 1987 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. After working four years in Augsburg and a research stay during the fall and winter months in Stockholm, he came to Berlin in 1992, where he worked at the Konrad Zuse Center (today’s Zuse Institute Berlin, ZIB Berlin), a mathematical research institute in the state of Berlin. Ziegler completed the Habilitation process at Technische Universität Berlin, where he worked as a professor of mathematics from January 1995 through February 2011. Since March 2011 he has been conducting research and teaching at Freie Universität Berlin, and since May 2017 he has also been an adjunct professor at Technische Universität Berlin. In 2006 he played a key role in setting up Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) as a joint graduate school of the three major Berlin universities. Ziegler has been president of Freie Universität Berlin since July 6, 2018. From November 2018 until November 2020 he was the first spokesperson of the Berlin University Alliance. He remains a member of its board of directors. Since September 2020 he has been deputy chairperson of the German U15 association.

Professor Ziegler is a specialist in aspects of discrete geometry, especially the theory of polyhedra, algebraic and topological methods in combinatorics, and problems of optimization. In 2001 he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for his research. In 2008 he received the Communicator Award of the DFG and the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany). In 2010 he was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, and in November 2017 he was awarded the Berlin Science Prize of the Governing Mayor of Berlin.

Professor Ziegler is a board member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), a member of the German National Academy, Leopoldina, and the German Academy of Engineering Sciences, acatech, and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. From 2006 to 2008 Ziegler was president of the German Mathematical Society (DMV), which he continues to support as a member of its executive board. He was a board member of the BBAW from 2010 to 2018 and a senate member of the German Research Foundation from 2014 to 2018.

Professor Ziegler is committed to promoting a diverse and lively public image of mathematics. He was an initiator of the Year of Mathematics in 2008, and currently directs the DMV’s Media Bureau of Mathematics as well as the DMV’s Network Office School – Higher Education. Since 2021 he has directed the steering committee of Wissenschaft im Dialog.

Professor Ziegler has written several essays and books on topics from mathematics and popular science. Together with Professor Martin Aigner, Ziegler wrote Das BUCH der Beweise (Proofs from the BOOK), which is available in 14 languages. In January 2018 the book was awarded the Steele Prize for Exposition by the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

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