First MATH+ Distinguished Fellow: Gavril Farkas (HU Berlin)

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MATH+ has recently launched the MATH+ Distinguished Fellowship Program to recognize outstanding contributions to the mathematical sciences and to support the work of world-leading mathematicians in Berlin. We are delighted to announce that Gavril Farkas, Professor of Algebraic Geometry at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, will be the first MATH+ Distinguished Fellow. He is one of the world’s leading mathematicians in the field of algebraic curves and received an ERC Advanced Grant for his groundbreaking research in algebraic geometry in 2019.


Farkas is a Hungarian born in Romania, where his mathematical career began, before continuing in the Netherlands, where he earned his PhD on the moduli space of curves from the University of Amsterdam in 2000. He then spent seven years in the USA at the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and the University of Texas at Austin before accepting the appointment as a professor at HU Berlin in 2007. Here, his research group reflects his international experience and background, with 14 scientists stemming from 12 countries. He has many collaborators from the US, Italy, or France. He became an active member of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) right from his start in Berlin. It was also through the BMS that Gavril Farkas became involved with MATH+ from its beginnings in January 2019. He considers the Mathematical Research Center as a significant element in attracting many brilliant mathematicians to Berlin.


Regarding his Distinguished Fellow award, he said:

“This is a wonderful signal for Berlin’s mathematic community, also since my field algebraic geometry belongs to the so-called “pure” mathematics while MATH+ is more visible for application-oriented mathematics. This award proves MATH+’s claim to represent the entirety of mathematics in Berlin, as also shown in the wide range of BMS Research Training Areas. Applied mathematics in Berlin is extremely strong. I really benefit from the collaboration with MATH+ members of other institutes and fields and take advantage of the presence of so many brilliant colleagues in applied mathematics. This has already happened, for example, in the case of the successful implementation of the MATH+ Thematic Einstein Semester 2019/2020 on Algebraic Geometry–Varieties, Polyhedra, Computation. It was jointly organized with Peter Bürgisser from TU Berlin and Christian Haase from FU Berlin.”


Gavril Farkas’s field of research is Algebraic Geometry, dealing with curves or surfaces or more abstract generalizations of these called algebraic varieties, which can be viewed both as geometric objects and as solutions of algebraic, specifically, polynomial equations. Although normally associated with pure mathematics, the field of algebraic curves had many important applications, such as to computer security or computational vision.


Apart from Farkas’ research focus on the geometry and topology of various moduli spaces, he is also interested in moduli of curves, enumerative geometry, syzygies of algebraic varieties and commutative algebra aspects, vector bundles on curves, abelian varieties and theta functions, Prym varieties, K3 surfaces, and Brill-Noether type problems.


For more information, please visit his personal homepage.



MATH+ Distinguished Fellowship Program


The MATH+ Distinguished Fellowship is bestowed upon individuals in recognition of outstanding contributions to the mathematical sciences in general. The program’s goal is to support the work of world-leading mathematicians, who hold permanent professorships at one of the MATH+ partner institutions, i.e. FU, HU, TU Berlin, WIAS, or ZIB. MATH+ provides Distinguished Fellows with a fellowship allowance for fostering innovative ideas and research activities, initiating exciting, vibrant research collaborations, and expanding the international research network and activities of the Fellows.

There are currently five MATH+ Distinguished Fellows: Gavril Farkas, Peter K. Friz, Michael Joswig, Bruno Klingler, and Alexander Mielke.


For international colleagues, MATH+ offers funding as (Distinguished) Visiting Scholars.