László Székelyhidi Jr., a Hungarian mathematician, working at Leipzig University won the most prestigious German research award: The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, Index.hu reports. He is the third Hungarian to receive this distinguished award, and he is the first Hungarian mathematician. The award ceremony will be held in Berlin on 19 March.
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is a program that was established by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft or DFG (the German Research Foundation) in 1985. According to the DFG’s website:
“The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme awards prizes to exceptional scientists and academics for their outstanding achievements in the field of research . . . a maximum of €2.5 million is provided per award.”
The Leibniz Price goes to scientists and academics working at German universities, regardless of their nationalities. It is one of the most important and prestigious prizes in the world of science. The Leibniz programme has several goals, such as to improve the working conditions of outstanding scientists and academics and to expand their research opportunities.
Two Hungarian researchers won the Leibniz Prize before Székelyhidi: Géza Alföldy, historian of the ancient world (1986) and Ferenc Krausz, theoretical physicist (2006).
Many Leibniz Prize winners received the Nobel Prize later on. Thus the award is often seen as a precursor of the Nobel Prize.
Winners can receive an amount between €1.25 and €2.5 million to spend on their scientific ambitions, thus providing academics with scientific freedom. The award cannot be applied for, candidates are suggested by the scientific community, and an independent committee picks the winners.
This year, out of the 136 candidates, 4 female and 7 male scientists receive the Leibniz Prize. The Leibniz Price most often goes to engineers, physicists, biologists, social scientists, historians and philosophers.
Mathematicians rarely receive the Leibniz Prize which makes László Székelyhidi Jr.’s win even more impressive.
László Székelyhidi Jr. (whose father is also a mathematician) works at University of Leipzig, and he was awarded for his outstanding work in partial differential equation research.
Featured image: www.stil.uni-leipzig.de