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First DFG success story: New Collaborative Research Centre in mathematics to study randomness

Published 31. Mai 2017, 14:05 h
Bielefeld University with new figurehead research

‘Taming uncertainty and profiting from randomness and low regularity in analysis, stochastics, and their applications’ – that’s the name of the new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) at Bielefeld University. Funding was approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG) on Wednesday the 24th of May. Starting in July, the interdisciplinary research programme will be receiving 2.5 million Euros a year for an initial period of four years. Its speaker is the mathematician Professor Dr. Michael Röckner.

Prof. Dr. Michael Röckner
Prof. Dr. Michael Röckner
The mission of the Collaborative Research Centre is to formulate fundamental concepts and theories on how to handle ‘bad’ and ‘good’ randomness. These should be applied to previously unresolved problems in various areas of economics and the natural sciences, and particularly in biology and physics.
This is why the newly approved CRC is interdisciplinary and contains 17 sub-projects located mostly at Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Mathematics but also at the Faculty of Physics, the Center for Mathematical Economics, and the Faculty of Technology. Funding will also include 13 post-graduate positions and 13 post-doc positions.

‘On the one hand, the CRC aims to tame uncertainty; on the other hand, to profit from randomness and exploit it meaningfully,’ explains the CRC Speaker Röckner. Uncertainties can be found that go beyond the randomness that can be described with probability theory. Such model uncertainties were one of the major causes of the financial crisis, because investment banks falsely interpreted ratings, for example, as exact probabilities. ‘One goal of the CRC is to develop robust methods for financial markets and thereby tame model uncertainty,’ says Röckner. In other contexts, in contrast, randomness creates opportunities: sufficiently strong stochastic (i.e. randomly determined) influences have a regularizing effect. For example, solutions to some of the differential equations that help to formulate many natural laws in physics precisely become possible only after the addition of stochastic components. 

Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university-based research institutions in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research programme. They are financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and allow researchers to tackle innovative, challenging, complex, and long-term research undertakings. Their special tasks include promoting the careers of young academics and ensuring equal opportunities. Funding ideally continues for twelve years with each funding period lasting four years.

Further information:
•    Youtube-Video: Professor Dr. Michael Röckner on the significance of the new Collaborative Research Centre at Bielefeld University: https://youtu.be/oZ8rXlkhALk
•    DFG press release on new Collaborative Research Centres (In German): http://www.dfg.de/service/presse/pressemitteilungen/2017/pressemitteilung_nr_16/index.html

Gesendet von JBömer in General
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