Women in Math_Michaela Szölgyenyi I (c) Christina Supanz

Remarkable success for Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Klagenfurt: funding for 14 new PhD students in the field of optimization in FWF doc.funds project

The approval of this project represents a milestone in the success story of the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Klagenfurt. It’s also a great achievement on the part of the participating professors and particularly for the 32-year-old coordinator, Michaela Szölgyenyi. Starting in autumn 2020, the project will employ around one dozen international young scientists in Klagenfurt.

Optimization problems accompany us all the time in our every-day lives. For example, supermarkets guarantee the supply by optimizing the transportation routes of their goods, electricity providers optimize the supply of electricity, and highways are built so that passing cars produce as little noise as possible. For this, discrete, stochastic, which means influenced by randomness, and continuous mathematical models are used, which need to be analysed.

In order to solve such problems, it is often essential to have a multi-perspective view and combine the knowledge of several mathematical sub-disciplines to create synergies. In crossing these borders lies great innovative potential.

It is the aim of the doc.funds doctoral school and its nine professors from the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Klagenfurt to provide PhD students with the mathematical knowledge necessary for understanding and solving challenging mathematical questions, which arise from optimization problems in every-day life. The novel aspect here lies in the combination of multiple perspectives: “There usually isn’t much of an exchange between mathematical sub-disciplines. Our approach is to combine them in order to address previously unsolvable problems from different perspectives”, Michaela Szölgyenyi explains.

The deputy coordinator is Barbara Kaltenbacher, further faculty members are Clemens Heuberger, Philipp Hungerländer, Christian Pötzsche, Franz Rendl, Elena Resmerita, Gunter Spöck and Angelika Wiegele.

About the person

The mathematician Michaela Szölgyenyi is the project coordinator of the new doc.funds doctoral school called “Modeling–Analysis–Optimization of discrete, continuous, and stochastic systems”. She has been a full professor for Stochastic Processes at the Department of Statistics at the University of Klagenfurt since 2018, and has additionally served as head of department since 2020. Before her appointment to the current role, the 32-year-old Austrian, worked at ETH Zurich, Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Johannes Kepler University Linz – JKU. Her research focus lies in numerics and analysis of stochastic differential equations and stochastic optimization.