Hannes Thiel

Wallenberg Academy Fellow 2021

Natural Sciences

Professor Hannes Thiel 
CAU, Kiel University, Germany

Nominated by:
Chalmers University of Technology 

Will contribute to classifying mathematical objects

Just as biologists classify plants and animals, mathematicians need to be able to classify and organize mathematical objects. Wallenberg Academy Fellow Hannes Thiel will contribute to the understanding of the structure of C*-algebras using methods he has developed in order theory. 

When researchers classify objects, they create an order that may contributes to new knowledge. For example, when chemists organized the elements into the periodic table, they improved the understanding of the elements’ properties. Biologists classify flora and fauna to understand how they are related. 

Researchers in mathematics also work on classifying objects to better understand them. Dr Hannes Thiel at CAU, Kiel University, Germany, works on analyzing and classifying operator algebras – more specifically, C*-algebras. 

C*-algebras were introduced in mathematics in the 1930s, partly motivated by advances in quantum mechanics. Since then, they have been much-studied. After a series of breakthroughs, researchers have succeeded in classifying a specific family of these algebras. Hannes Thiel will use methods in order theory that he helped develop and investigate how they can be used to determine when a specific C*-algebra belongs to the classified family. 

As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Hannes Thiel will work at Chalmers University of Technology. 

Photo: Eusebio Gardella