Greetings of the DMV

at the Opening Colloquium of the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics in Bonn, 19. January 2007, by Prof. Wolfgang Lück (Münster) Vice President of the German Mathematical Society

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Mathematicians, dear Guests of honor.

Let me pass to you greetings by Prof. Ziegler, the president of the DMV. Today he has a meeting with the Telekom-Stiftung and representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science in Berlin. Therefore he cannot attend this opening ceremony.

In the framework of the Excellence Initiative the German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) have granted the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics. This is a big success for the institutions involved and the University of Bonn. It establishes Bonn as the leading center for mathematics in Germany. Not only the local people but the whole mathematical community in Germany will benefit a lot from the Hausdorff Center.

Of course the institution of such a new large center may raise some mixed feelings. The local people will have to invest much more time and energy in the organization. They will face very high expectations. People from outside may wonder how dominating Bonn may become.

However, in my opinion none of these issues will play a role. I am convinced that the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics will become a very successful institution from which Bonn and the whole German mathematical community will benefit a lot. The perspectives are outstanding. The excellence of the mathematical research in Bonn is well-known and will be strengthened by new appointments. There is already a lot experience with running big institutions such as the Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics, or the Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 611. The support by the university administration is very impressive.

So what can be the role and benefit of the Hausdorff center for the German mathematical community? First of all we all hope for outstanding exciting new theorems. The concentration of excellent researchers at one place is a very important ingredient in carrying out successful research. Modern mathematical research happens in groups and in discussions. In spite of electronic media personal contact is very important. The guest programm will give both young and senior mathematicians the opportunity to talk to established mathematicians and to learns new results, techniques and solution strategies. More leading experts from other countries will spend more time in Germany. The large number of PhD students will give them a chance to build groups and avoid working in isolation which sometimes happens at small institutions. Mathematicians from all over Germany and the world can use the Hausdorff Center as a platform to present their work in form of lectures, courses or workshops. The Hausdorff Center will be the ideal place to get information about new developments in mathematics.

What are the international perspectives? The visibility and presence of German mathematics in the world will substantially be improved by the combination of the department of mathematics, the Max-Planck Institute, the Hausdorff Center and the Institute for Economic Science at one place. Thus Bonn can become what — in my opinion — is missing in Germany, a worldwide recognized and leading top institution for mathematics.

The DMV wishes all the best for this new and challenging endeavor.