Major funding to strengthen basic research in mathematics

Press release
2020-03-24

This year, sixteen leading mathematicians will receive funding from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s mathematics program. Advanced mathematics provides an important foundation for many other sciences and the development of new technology, which is why the Foundation has granted SEK 25 million kronor from the program every year since 2014.

“Mathematics is everywhere. We may not always be aware of it, but mathematics is found throughout our daily lives, applied to everything from bank payments and web searches, to what is now a very relevant field, infectious diseases. But contemporary mathematics is not adequate, for example when we want to use the enormous amounts of data now being produced. New mathematics is necessary for an increasing number of applications, both in research and industry,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and continues; 

“Also, mathematical theories and solutions to problems often arise long before we understand what we can use them for. It is unlikely that the mathematicians who started to become interested in algorithms had any idea they would help save lives by increasing the number of organs available for transplantation, as mathematical models can match more organ donors with recipients.”

Around SEK 25 million per year

This year, 16 mathematicians will benefit from the program. Six of these are young mathematics researchers in Sweden who will receive funding to work at universities in Spain, Italy, Germany and the US over a two-year period. They will also receive funding for another two years if they return to Sweden and continue their research. Using this funding, six young foreign researchers and four highly qualified visiting professors will be recruited to Swedish universities.

Since the program started, an average of SEK 25 million has been awarded every year for positions and scholarships. The program is a partnership with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which evaluates all the nominated candidates.

“The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is delighted to be able to contribute to this important investment. Mathematics is the foundation of the natural sciences and engineering, and mathematics research is increasingly important in our modern society. If Sweden is to remain among the leading nations in research and innovation, we must have strong research in mathematics and higher education,” says Göran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Academy of Sciences.

Six researchers will hold postdoctoral positions at foreign universities and have funding for two years after returning to Sweden:

Dr Stefano Marseglia, Stockholm University (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Dr Dag Nilsson, Lund University (Saarland University, Germany)
Doctoral student Lisa Nicklasson, Stockholm University (University of Genoa, Italy)
Doctoral student Tomas Berggren, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Dr Jacopo Emmenegger, Stockholm University (University of Genoa, Italy)
Doctoral student Bashar Saleh, Stockholm University (University of Barcelona, Spain)

Six researchers will receive funding to recruit a foreign researcher for a postdoctoral position in Sweden:

Associate Professor Alexander Berglund, Stockholm University
Associate Professor Kevin Schnelli, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Associate Professor Sofia Tirabassi, Stockholm University
Dr Anders Södergren, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg
Professor Pär Kurlberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Associate Professor Thomas Kragh, Uppsala University

Four established foreign researchers will be recruited as visiting professors at Swedish universities (in brackets):

Dr Paolo Ghiggini, Université de Nantes, France (Uppsala University)
Dr Gerard Freixas i Montplet, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu ¬¬– Paris Rive Gauche, France (Chalmers University of Technology)
Professor Masatoshi Noumi, Kobe University, Japan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Professors Eero Saksman and Paul Wiegmann, University of Helsinki, Finland and University of Chicago, USA (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Read more about the researchers and projects

About the program:

Over the years 2014–2023, the program offers SEK 340 million for outgoing Swedish postdoctoral research fellows, as well as the international recruitment of foreign postdoctoral students and visiting professors to Swedish higher education institutions. In addition, funding worth SEK 73 million is provided for the Academy of Sciences’ Institut Mittag-Leffler, which is one of the world’s ten leading mathematical institutions.

Contacts:

Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80
kaw@kaw.se

Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46 (0)8 673 95 00

Göran Sandberg, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80

Press contact:
Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46 (0)70 878 6763