Creating the Future
© David Ausserhofer

Mathe­mat­ics and Science Fiction: Visions for the year 211 = 2048

Sympo­sium 2016

Mathe­mat­ics today & in the future – its signif­i­cance in medicine, inter­net & every­day life

Public Sympo­sium on "Mathe­mat­ics & Science Fiction" excites the audience

On July 11, the Hector Fellow Academy and the Berlin-Branden­burg Academy of Sciences and Human­i­ties (BBAW) invited to a public evening event entitled “Mathe­mat­ics and Science Fiction – Visions for the Year 211=2048“. With the focus on the practi­cal appli­ca­tion of mathe­mat­ics in present and future, the event was integrated into the BBAW’s current annual theme “Leibniz: Vision as Task” which is dedicated to the great mathematician.

The welcome by BBAW Presi­dent Prof. Martin Grötschel was followed by two keynote speeches on the current role of mathe­mat­ics by Profes­sor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Presi­dent of the European Research Council, and Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secre­tary at the Federal Ministry of Educa­tion and Research.

Profes­sor Christof Schütte, Head of the Zuse Insti­tute Berlin (ZIB), explained in his presen­ta­tion “Medica­tion, Medicine and Mathe­mat­ics” which impor­tant contri­bu­tion mathe­mat­ics makes in the devel­op­ment of novel medica­tion. Mathe­mat­ics enables the efficient concep­tual design of new agents which can signif­i­cantly reduce side effects by their locally limited effec­tive­ness. Only an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary cooper­a­tion of scien­tists – for example from mathe­mat­ics, IT, chemistry and medicine – could come to a success­ful result.


Medica­tion, medicine and mathematics

Profes­sor Christof Schütte, direc­tor of the Zuse Insti­tute Berlin (ZIB), will explain in his lecture " Medica­tion, Medicine and Mathe­mat­ics" the impor­tant contri­bu­tion mathe­mat­ics plays in the devel­op­ment of novel medications.

Video in German


Johannes Buchmann, profes­sor of computer science and mathe­mat­ics at the TU Darmstadt and BBAW member, examined another appli­ca­tion field of mathe­mat­ics. In his presen­ta­tion “Primes, Quanta and the Inter­net” he pointed out the connec­tion between number theory and cyber security. Primes have already bothered mathe­mati­cians for centuries. Today they have a key function for secure commu­ni­ca­tion on the inter­net. Profes­sor Buchmann empha­sized among others the urgency to develop new encryp­tion methods: with the realiza­tion of quantum comput­ers, today’s encod­ing methods would no longer be effective.


Prime numbers, quanta and the Internet

Context: number theories & cybersecurity

Video in German


The final presen­ta­tion held by Prof. Günter M. Ziegler, profes­sor for mathe­mat­ics at the FU Berlin, Hector Fellow and member of the BBAW focused on “Our Mathe­mat­i­cal Future”. He presented, that the (self-)perception of mathe­mat­ics is constantly chang­ing. Despite the omnipres­ence of the mathe­mat­ics it is nearly impos­si­ble to find a clear defin­i­tion for it. With the example of the mathe­mat­i­cal basis in the research of artifi­cial intel­li­gence, Prof. Ziegler showed that mathe­mat­ics will gain more impor­tance in the future. He appeals to bring the diver­sity of mathe­mat­ics and their appli­ca­tion to the collec­tive conscience, especially in primary and higher educa­tion. He helps towards that point with the German book “Panorama der Mathe­matik” that will be released shortly together with Dr. Andreas Loos by the Springer Company.


Our mathe­mat­i­cal future

Raise public aware­ness of the diver­sity of mathe­mat­ics and its applications

Video in German


Every year the Hector Fellow Academy hosts a sympo­sium, which deals with essen­tial problems of our times to support the dialog between science and society. The next sympo­sium will take place on the 6th of June in 2017 in cooper­a­tion with the TU Dresden; the theme will be the role of organic electron­ics in the modern medicine.


Scien­tific talks

Prof. Dr.

Johannes Buchmann

Infor­mat­ics & Mathematics

Profes­sor of Infor­mat­ics and Mathe­mat­ics at the TU Darmstadt and BBAW member

Prof. Dr.

Christof Schütte


Direc­tor of the Zuse Insti­tute Berlin (ZIB)


Günter M. Ziegler


Günter M. Ziegler DisziplinenkreisHector Fellow since 2012


Image gallery