Facets of Complexity

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German Research Foundation funds new Research Training Group coordinated at Freie Universität Berlin

No 345/2017 from Dec 20, 2017

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved a new Research Training Group to be coordinated at Freie Universität Berlin. It is one of eleven new graduate training groups approved by the grants committee of the DFG in its winter session, as a spokesperson for the DFG announced on Wednesday in Bonn. The training group will begin its work in April 2018 with twelve positions for doctoral students and one postdoc position, as noted by its spokesperson, the computer science professor Günter Rote of Freie Universität Berlin. Technische Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are involved as partners in the training group, which will initially be funded for four and a half years.

The topic of complexity comes in many forms in mathematics and computer science. So far the various forms have largely been researched independently of each other. In mathematics the combinatory aspect of complexity focuses on the mere number of mathematical structures. There is also descriptive complexity, based on the type of logic needed to visually represent a theorem in a clear manner. In addition, there is "classical" algorithmic complexity, which pertains to the duration and memory requirements of algorithms. The members of the Research Training Group plan to deal with the cross-connections between different approaches to gain insights that are relevant for both mathematics and theoretical computer science.

In the new Research Training Group, different perspectives or facets of complexity are to be integrated into a common education and research program. The main goal of the new group will be to train a new generation of highly qualified researchers. "We would like to offer the graduate students a broad and multi-faceted view of complexity in an exciting research environment," stressed Günter Rote. The Research Training Group was set up to fit into an international context with regard to the expected applicants, collaborating with international research groups, visiting researchers, and courses taught in English.

The Research Training Group to deal with complexity is one of eleven new graduate training groups approved by the DFG. They will receive a total of about 134 million euros over four and a half years. In addition to the eleven new training groups, the grants committee approved continued funding for 18 Research Training Groups over the next four and a half years. According to the DFG, the organization is currently funding 223 Research Training Groups, including 42 International Research Training Groups. This form of training offers an opportunity for graduate students to earn a doctorate within a structured research and qualification program at a high professional level.


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