## Mathematics: An Ancient and Cutting-Edge Discipline

Mathematics is an ancient discipline and can look back at an uninterrupted history that spans thousands of years. Mathematical knowledge that was acquired in antiquity is still valid today and will be valid for all eternity. At the same time, mathematics is a cutting-edge discipline: important problems remain unsolved, and mathematical know-how is indispensable in its numerous technological and scientific applications.

**Mathematics: A Language**

Mathematics makes it possible to describe various issues of great complexity in a precise way, and it to thereby opens them up to a rational approach. Medical applications of computed tomography, the airline industry, and the secure exchange of information over the Internet would not be imaginable without mathematics.

**Mathematics: Research in Basel**

Basel and its university have played a significant role in the history of mathematics since early modernity. The Bernoulli dynasty of mathematicians has its origin here, and the University of Basel possesses a world-famous graduate in Leonhard Euler. In the twentieth century, the famous mathematician Alexander Ostrowski, whose broad work covers a large part of mathematics, was active here. And the recently retired David Masser was involved in formulating the foundational *abc* conjecture. This is one of the most important problems of number theory; a proof could shed new light on Fermat’s Last Theorem.

**Mathematics: Studying in Basel**

Studying mathematics in Basel is characterized by close contact between students in their first semesters and students in higher semesters as well as with doctoral students and instructors. The limited size of the section makes personal mentoring possible at all levels of one’s studies.