Department of Mathematics

Erich Kamke Colloquium (EKC)

The Department of Mathematics is starting a new colloquium series in November 2021, which usually offers a colloquium lecture once a year with distinguished and well-known speakers who report on current results that have received particular attention. This colloquium is named after the Tübingen mathematician Erich Kamke in his honour.

Erich Kamke came to Tübingen as an associate professor in 1926 at the age of 36 and was forced into retirement by the National Socialists in 1937 because of his wife's Jewish background. Immediately after the Second World War, Kamke was rehabilitated and appointed full professor at the University of Tübingen. In the years that followed, he made lasting contributions to the reconstruction of the Mathematical Institute, the University of Tübingen and mathematics in Germany. For example, he organised the first major mathematics conference in Germany after the war in Tübingen in 1946 and also re-founded the German Mathematicians' Association (DMV) in Tübingen in 1948 (with the annual conference organised by him). In Tübingen he founded, among other things, the university's computing centre, of which he was chairman until 1960. From 1948-1952 he was chairman of the DMV.

Kamke worked scientifically primarily in the field of differential equations and wrote a two-volume work on this subject, which is still considered standard literature in this discipline today.

1st EKC: Prof. Dr. Bernd Sturmfels (19/11/2021, 2pm, N14)

Title: Algebraic Statistics with a View towards Physics

Abstract: We discuss the algebraic geometry of maximum likelihood estimation from the perspective of scattering amplitudes in particle physics. A guiding example is the moduli space of n-pointed rational curves. The scattering potential plays the role of the log-likelihood function, and its critical points are solutions to rational function equations. Their number is an Euler characteristic. Soft limit degenerations are combined with certified numerical methods for concrete computations.

About the speaker: Bernd Sturmfels is Director at the MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig) and Professor at UC Berkeley. His academic dignities are numerous. For example, he is ICM Speaker 2022, Honorary Doctor of Goethe University Frankfurt, Einstein Visiting Fellow at TU Berlin, George David Birkhoff Laureate in Applied Mathematics and member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.