28. March 2023 | Press releases:

Inaugural lecture by Prof. Dr Timo de Wolff A foray through applied algebra

Prof. Dr. Timo de Wolff, Institute of Analysis and Algebra at Technische Universität Braunschweig, will give his inaugural lecture “Ein Streifzug durch die angewandte Algebra“ (A foray into applied algebra) on

Saturday, 1 April 2023, at 4.00 pm,
Aula, Pockelsstr. 11, Haus der Wissenschaft, 38106 Braunschweig.

The subject of modern algebra are fundamental mathematical structures such as groups, rings or solids. On the one hand, these objects are abstract, on the other hand, we regularly encounter instances in the natural sciences and engineering that can be described algebraically. An important example of such instances are polynomial optimisation problems. Here, the goal is to minimise a multivariate, real polynomial under polynomial constraints. However, the solution of such a problem is de facto equivalent to the certification of non-negativity of real polynomials – a central problem of real algebraic geometry since the 19th century.

Since solving these optimisation problems is generally very difficult, one is interested in developing certificates which, on the one hand, imply the desired non-negativity property, but, on the other hand, should be easier to calculate than the direct proof of the non-negativity of the desired polynomial.

On our foray through applied algebra, Professor de Wolff invites you to get to know the basics of applied algebra and polynomial optimisation in particular. Together we will stroll from classical to modern non-negativity certificates and finally stop by interdisciplinary applications.

About the person

Timo de Wolff studied both Mathematics (Diplom 2009) and Philosophy (Magister Artium 2011) at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. He then completed his doctorate in Mathematics under Thorsten Theobald in Frankfurt/Main in 2013 on the topic of “On the Geometry, Topology and Approximation of Amoebas”. After a one-year postdoctoral period at Saarland University, he was Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, USA, from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, he was accepted into the DFG’s Emmy Noether Programme with the project “New Certificates of Nonnegativity and Their Application in Science and Engineering” and led a working group on this topic at TU Berlin in 2017-19. Since April 2019, he has been Professor of Applied Algebra at TU Braunschweig in the Institute of Analysis and Algebra. The working group is particularly concerned with non-negativity and polynomial optimisation, as well as other questions in the spectrum of applied algebra.

Timo de Wolff is an elected member of the Junge Akademie (JA) at the BBAW and the Leopoldina for the years 2019-2024, a member of the JA Presidium since 2021 and the speaker of the Junge Akademie for the academic year 2022/23.