Since 2007 the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize has been awarded every three years to scientists who have performed original work of outstanding scientific quality within no more than eight years following their Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Saffirio is an assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Basel since 2019. As head of the mathematical physics research group she particularly focusses on the derivation from many-body dynamics of the Boltzmann equation for rarefied gases, the Hartree-Fock equation for fermions, the Vlasov-Poisson equation for non-collisional plasmas, the Landau equation for collisional plasmas.

Natural numbers whose divisors add up to themselves are considered perfect numbers. Both 6 (1+2+3) and 28 (1+2+4+7+14) are perfect numbers. Combined, they refer to June 28th. However, since perfect numbers are extremely rare, it is hardly worth waiting for a perfect year (the next would be the year 8128).

Some perfect numbers were discovered as early as ancient Greece. In the 3rd century BC, Euclid identified some of their most important properties in his work "Elements". Thanks to Euclid's calculations, we know that with every newly discovered Mersenne prime, a new perfect number is also discovered. About 2000 years later, Leonhard Euler was able to prove that this was not just one but the only method for finding even perfect numbers.

Even though their history goes back a long way, perfect numbers still raise some questions. For example, we know that all known perfect numbers are even numbers. But can we conclude that there are no odd perfect numbers at all? Is there perhaps an infinite amount of perfect numbers? And if there were no odd perfect numbers, is there at least an infinite amount of even perfect numbers?

]]>Anyone, who devours Ulysses in his or her spare time, raves about the "magic" of mathematical equations, and spends years solving problems that 99.9% of the population is not even aware exist – yes, such a person must face the question: "Are you a nerd?" Gabriel Dill takes his time to respond, searching for words to respond seriously and adequately. "I can get very excited about abstract questions, get into topics that are far removed from reality," he says finally. However, the term "nerd" is somewhat clichéd.

On the contrary, "Mathematics is something very social," Dill points out. "You are constantly exchanging ideas with other people." For example, in the "Bernoulli's Round Table", which he co-organised: a platform for doctoral students to give talks to each other about their areas of expertise. "It makes you think outside the box," Dill says. Even though this round table naturally constitutes like-minded people, who, like Dill, like to puzzle, "brainstorm", pose and solve problems that do not tend to arise in real life.

Gabriel Dill also addressed such a problem in his dissertation at the Number Theory Research Group of Prof. Philipp Habegger at the University of Basel. It is about a subfield of number theory called "Diophantine geometry". Diophantus of Alexandria was a mathematician of ancient times and is considered one of the founders of algebra and number theory. The "Diophantine equations", for which one searches for special (for example, integer) solutions, are named after him. One question might be: which integers are areas of right triangles with rational side lengths? In turn, "Diophantine geometry" uses the geometry of objects defined by Diophantine equations to solve the equations. A famous supposition that has so far been only partially proved establishes a connection between geometry and arithmetic. Dill proved this supposition in certain special cases in his dissertation.

For the uninitiated, it is hard to understand the world. For the initiated, on the other hand, it is clear: Dill's dissertation is "ambitious, technically versatile and contains original ideas," writes the jury. "The award is a great joy for me," says the 27-year-old. "I am proud of my dissertation and felt I did a good job." To others, this might sound arrogant and smug. Not so with Gabriel Dill: In conversation, it becomes clear that he is not driven by a desire for recognition or competition. He is, so to speak, the prototype of an intrinsically motivated person.

Growing up in Basel with a brother 6 years younger, he discovered his penchant for intellectual challenges at an early age. In grammar school, he took Latin and Greek, following the footsteps of his parents. His matriculation project thesis was based on the model of Seneca's lampoon on Emperor Claudius. It was the time when Berlusconi made headlines with his "bunga bunga" excesses. A good opportunity for the high school graduate, who wrote his satire on the would-be Roman emperor bilingually in German and Latin. When he recalls it today, something flashes in Dill's eyes, and one senses what thieving pleasure this work must have given him.

Although it may seem today that Gabriel Dill lives only for the mathematical universe, there is also a world outside for him. He played the violin intensively until moving to Oxford, where he is doing postdoctoral research until next spring. He is a member of the Juso Basel, enjoys hiking and loves creative writing.

One may think of Gabriel Dill as a happy person. A kind of philosopher who has not forgotten childlike wonder. "Actually, mathematics is a language that understands and explains many natural phenomena," he explains, echoing the definition of mathematics as an "auxiliary science." But he goes on: "You can also just explore this language as a universe unto itself."

**This text originally appeared on the website of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).**

Since 2018, the Day of Women in Mathematics has been celebrated on May 12th. The date goes back to the birthday of the Iranian mathematician and Fields Medalist Maryam Mirzakhani. In 2014 Mirzakhani was the first woman and first Iranian to receive a Fields Medal for “outstanding contributions to the geometry and dynamics of Riemann surfaces and their modular spaces”. The Fields Medal is considered the highest honor in Mathematics. Mirzakhani passed away in 2017.

At the University of Basel, all students - regardless of their gender and origin - have equal rights since 1937. In many degree programs, women and men are represented equally and in some fields, women are now in the majority. However, women are still underrepresented in Science and higher academic positions in comparison to their male colleagues.

At the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, there are currently two female professors in the section of Mathematics: Prof. Moffa and Prof. Saffirio in the fields of Statistical Science and Mathematical Physics. In addition, there are university lecturers Dr. Annette A'Campo and Dr. Christine Zehren, as well as currently five doctoral students.

Students and doctoral students in the field of Mathematics at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science are committed to doing their part in getting children of school age interested in Mathematics and Science and encouraging them to follow their curiosity. As part of the Wissensbox project, they regularly visit schools under the motto “Mathematics to touch”.

**Further information**

As part of the International Day of Women in Mathematics, events are held annually in various countries around the world. Further information can be found on the May 12 website.

]]>The employment is for four months of 12 hours per week; for activities without weekly correction work for four months of eight hours per week. Requirements are the completion of the basic course and the first year of the postgraduate course. Please indicate in your application whether you are interested in an 8-hour job. An 8-hour activity is only available for "Mathematics for Natural Science Students" (without correction work) and there are two exercise groups to supervise.

If you are interested, please send a written application (with a short curriculum vitae, current performance overview and, if applicable, bachelor's degree) as a PDF by email to Prof. Enno Lenzmann's office at the Mathematics Department: **barbara.fridez@unibas.ch**

**Note on "Mathematics for Science Students":**

There are practice hours with and without correction work, whereby one group has to be supervised with correction work and two groups without correction work. In this lecture, all practice hours are tied to fixed dates that cannot be postponed. In HS21 the exercises with corrections take place on Tuesday 8-10am (two groups). The auxiliary assistants for the exercises without correction work supervise a group on Mondays at 1 to 3 p.m. and at 4 to 6 p.m. (there are four parallel groups each).

**Application deadline: Tuesday, May 25, 2021.**

March 14th was solemnly celebrated as Pi Day by math-enthusiasts around the world before the International Day of Mathematics came into being. The well-known circle constant Pi, which specifies the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, has an infinite amount of digits but is commonly known as 3.14. In some countries, March 14th is written as 3/14 (so almost 3.14). For math-enthusiasts, this was enough of a reason to celebrate and for the **International Mathematical Union**, it was reason enough to pick up the date and declare this day the annual International Day of Mathematics.

In Ancient Egypt mathematicians already knew that Pi was the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. At first, however, the quantification of Pi was not very precise. Determining the digits by hand using geometric or numerical methods was and still is a great challenge, and errors kept happening throughout history. It took several hundred years to determine the first 707 digits, only to find out about 70 years later that not all 707 digits were correct.

The big breakthrough in determining Pi came with the help of computers in the second half of the 20th century. The number of known digits rose rapidly from a few hundred to a few trillion in the early 21st century. Of course, there is still no end in sight.

The fact that we use the Greek letter π today is largely due to the Basel mathematician Leonhard Euler. The first documented use of π is not attributable to him, but it was Euler who popularized its use.

In addition to Pi's undisputed place in mathematical research, more and more curiosities, entertaining facts, and applications spawned over the years. For example, it is possible to find any date of birth in the tangle of Pi's digits. Leonhard Euler's birthday, for example, is at position 20.625 in Pi's digits (4/15/1707 π = 3.141592…6335 [4 15 07]46088...). If you want to determine your own Pi day, you can either search the infinite digits of Pi by yourself or use one of the many Pi birthday calculators available on the internet.

In the course of the International Day of Mathematics, various institutions hold exciting events and lectures every year. **Here **you can find an overview of some events.

Further information can also be found on the website of the **International Mathematical Union** and the **Pi Day website**.

Please find the program of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science below:

**17:00-17:45** Presentation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/95298357874?pwd=V1o1RzlLdFd2a0oxLzBEY1piSmhJUT09)

**18:00-18:45** Open consultation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/95298357874?pwd=V1o1RzlLdFd2a0oxLzBEY1piSmhJUT09)

**19:00-19:45** Open consultation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/95298357874?pwd=V1o1RzlLdFd2a0oxLzBEY1piSmhJUT09)

**Here** you will find a short presentation of the Master’s degree in Computer Science.

**17:00-18:00** Open consultation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/98957600025?pwd=V05LZjlUb1VJQ1NMRSt6aXV0N2VYUT09)

**18:00-18:45** Presentation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/98957600025?pwd=V05LZjlUb1VJQ1NMRSt6aXV0N2VYUT09)

**18:45-20:00** Open consultation (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/98957600025?pwd=V05LZjlUb1VJQ1NMRSt6aXV0N2VYUT09)

**Here** you will find a short presentation of the Master’s degree in Mathematics.

**17:00-17:45** Presentation, open consultation (I) (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/98135667870)

**18:00-18:45** Meet our Students (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/94100921756)

**19:00-19:45** Presentation, open consultation (II) (https://unibas.zoom.us/j/98135667870)

**Here** you will find a short presentation of the Master’s degree in Actuarial Science.

**Here** you will find a pre-recorded Actuarial Science lecture.

On the website of the Basel Master’s Info Evening, you can get an overview of the entire program of the Info Evening and have a look at various information material, such as sample lectures and handouts.

]]>The swissbib Basel Bern (and swissbib.ch) library catalogues that are currently in use will be discontinued and replaced at a national level by the new discovery portal called swisscovery. Services, loan periods and fees will be standardised across Switzerland. A Swiss courier and document delivery service will supplement the Basel courier.

For data protection reasons, existing users will need to re-register for the switch to the new system. This will be possible from the end of September 2020.

During a few days before the system change, it will not be possible to borrow items. The temporary loan freeze is expected to take place at the end of November 2020. We will inform you of the exact date in good time.

]]>Bonicatto has been working in a postdoctoral position at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Basel since 2017. Previously, he worked at the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), where he wrote his dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Stefano Bianchini.

In addition to receiving the INdAM-UMI-SIMAI Award, the most important research results of the dissertation were published in the renowned mathematical journal Inventiones mathematicae.

]]>There are no fees, but registration is necessary. Registered users will receive an email a few hours before the talk with a link to the Zoom meeting.

]]>In 2014 Maryam Mirzakhani was the first and only woman ever to receive a **Fields Medal**, the highest award in mathematics, for «outstanding contributions to the geometry and dynamics of Riemann surfaces and their modular spaces». In her honour, **The National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics**, was renamed **The Maryam Mirzakhani Prize in Mathematics** just a few years later.

However, she is not the first and not the only female mathematician who has achieved outstanding performance. Anyone looking for women in mathematics begins a journey through history from late Greek antiquity right to the moon - from Hypatia to Margaret Hamilton - and finds impressive biographies and brilliant research.

May 12th is not only Mirzakhani's birthday but a day to celebrate all women in mathematics and be inspired by them.

]]>Until the closing on Friday, March 20th, those whose UNIcard has access rights to the building will continue to have access to the department.

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The Collatz conjecture is one of these unsolved problems in mathematics. Let's think of any natural number. If it is even, divide it by two. If it is odd, multiply it by three and add one. Apply the same rules to your results over and over again. The Collatz conjecture predicts that at some point we reach the number one and are then caught in an endless loop (1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, ...). Although these rules have been applied to more than a trillion numbers without finding an exception, no mathematical proof or general mathematical argument can be derived from the Collatz conjecture. Among the most recent challengers of the problem is Terence Tao. He recognized a connection between the Collatz conjecture and partial differential equations: The attempt to predict the future nature of a system and to check how and whether a pattern depends on the respective starting point. Although he did not expect to make great progress and did not solve the Collatz conjecture, he was still able to make the most significant progress in recent decades.

Last week Tao was a guest at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Basel and gave a lecture on his work on the Collatz conjecture. More than 500 national and international guests, including around 180 high school students, streamed into the auditorium hours before the event began. Because of the large number of guests, the lecture was also broadcasted in an adjoining lecture hall. During his lecture, Terence Tao mastered the feat of presenting advanced level mathematics in a way that is accessible to everyone. He managed to inspire and make the audience laugh so much that he was even asked for autographs and selfies after his lecture.

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She obtained her PhD in Mathematics in 2012 at the University of Rome (La Sapienza) and did postdoctoral research at the Institute of Mathematics at the University of Zurich and at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics at the University of Bonn. She has been an Ambizione Fellow of the SNF at the University of Zurich since 2016. Her project at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences addresses questions in kinetic theory and many-body interactions in both classical and quantum systems evolving around the theory of the Boltzmann equation.

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Applicants are requested to submit their documents as specified in the job advertisements (Postdoc / PhD).

]]>Giusi Moffa received her PhD in statistics from the University of Bristol in 2010 and then performed postdoctoral research in statistical bioinformatics at the Institute for Functional Genomics at the University of Regensburg. From 2014 to 2017, she was a senior statistician in clinical pharmacology for oncology at Novartis Pharma in Basel before joining the Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CEB). Early 2019, Giusi Moffa was a visiting scientist in the research group of Miguel Hernán at the Harvard School of Public Health. Since 2015, she has also been an honorary research associate in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London.

Giusi Moffa`s application-oriented and interdisciplinary work involves developing methods for clinical research, epidemiology and cancer genomics. Her methodological research revolves around causal inference and probabilistic graphical models for high dimensional data, with a particular emphasis on computational methods for Bayesian statistics.

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