SEK 25 million to boost basic research in mathematics

Press release
2021-03-24

This year, fifteen mathematicians will share funding worth 25 million kronor from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s mathematics program, enabling young mathematicians to conduct research at some of the world’s leading environments for mathematics and then return to Sweden. 

“Advanced mathematics skills are an important foundation for many other sciences, as well as for the development of new technology. This is particularly visible in the rapid development of areas such as data-driven life science, AI and quantum engineering. If Sweden is to keep up with these developments, we must have mathematicians who are at the forefront,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The mathematics program has been instrumental in mathematics research in Sweden. Strong environments that have achieved international renown have evolved and attract leading researchers from around the globe.

This year, as part of the program, six young international researchers and three highly qualified visiting professors have been recruited to Swedish universities. At the same time, six young researchers in mathematics will receive grants to conduct their work at universities in France, the US, Canada and Italy over a two-year period. Their projects include subjects that can help to describe weather phenomena, produce better models for evolution and solve fundamental problems in algebraic geometry. They will also receive an additional two years of funding if they return and continue their research in Sweden. 

Since the program started in 2014, it has allocated grants worth almost SEK 300 million. It is a cooperation between the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which evaluates all the nominated candidates. 

“Mathematics is a vital tool in contemporary society, particularly for the development of science and technology. However, mathematical science is also a stimulating intellectual challenge for all those who approach it. Not only this, but it offers us beauty – as Einstein said, it is the poetry of logical ideas. This mathematics program has provided Sweden with the leverage to strengthen and advance our mathematics research, which is of great national significance,” says Göran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Six researchers receive international postdoctoral positions and funding for two years after they return to Sweden:

Doctoral student Fredrik Fryklund, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (New York University, USA)
Dr Martina Favero, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (University of Warwick, United Kingdom)
Dr Nasrin Altafi, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Queens University, Canada)
Dr Antonio Trusiani, Chalmers University of Technology (Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse, France)
Doctoral student Johan Asplund, Uppsala University (Colombia University, USA)
Dr Milo Viviani, Chalmers University of Technology (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy)

Six researchers receive funding for recruiting an international researcher to a postdoctoral position in Sweden:

Associate Professor Sven Raum, Stockholm University
Associate Professor Martin Raum, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg
Professor Pavel Kurasov, Stockholm University
Professor Andreas Rosén, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg
Dr Anders Mörtberg, Stockholm University
Professor Genkai Zhang, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg

Three established international researchers recruited as visiting professors at Swedish universities (in brackets):

Professor Petter N. Kolm, New York University, USA (Lund University)
Professor Dimitri Leemans, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (Umeå University) 
Professor James Wright, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain (Lund University)

Read more about the researchers and their projects

About the program:

Over the years 2014–2023, the program provides SEK 340 million to allow Swedish researchers to take international postdoctoral positions, as well as the international recruitment of visiting professors and of foreign researchers to postdoctoral positions at Swedish universities. In addition, funding worth SEK 73 million is provided for the Academy of Sciences’ Institut Mittag-Leffler, one of the world’s ten leading mathematics institutions.

Contact persons:

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

Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46 (0)8 673 9500
goran.hansson@kva.se

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

Press contact:
Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
+46 (0)70 878 6763
eva.nevelius@kva.se