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The Wallenberg investment in mathematics continues


This year’s funding from the Wallenberg mathematics programme goes to 15 mathematicians, amongst them Julia Brandes who receives a grant to recruit a postdoctoral researcher.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has since 2014, together with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, supported the mathematical research in Sweden through an extensive mathematics programme. The aim is for Sweden to recover its position at the international cutting edge by giving the best young researchers international experience and by recruiting young as well as more experienced mathematicians to Sweden.

New solutions to ancient problems

Julia Brandes plans in her project to make use of the improved precision of the circle method to study the number of integer solutions to certain equation systems under certain extra conditions. Two cases are particularly Portrait Julia Brandesinteresting. On the one hand, she studies such equation systems where the variables lie in widely differing ranges – some variables are large while others are small. The other part of the project is about solutions which, if they are written in a number system with a certain prime base p, avoid certain digits. Such numbers are of interest because they have a strange but regular fractal structure. By making use of this special structure it is expected that it will be possible to predict how many such solutions there are.

– I think that research in mathematics should be supported for two reasons. On the one hand, there is a certain romance in fundamental mathematical research, as in fundamental research in terms of space travel or particle accelerators. That romance is not to be underestimated as the source of inspiration for future researchers. How many young people interested in mathematics do not read popular science books on, for example, Ramanujan or Fermat’s last theorem? The second reason is less romantic: A large part of the science and engineering research had not been imagined without mathematics.

Julia Brandes, institutionen för matematiska vetenskaper, Chalmers tekniska högskola och Göteborgs universitet, e-post: