Snapshots of Modern Mathematics

Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach explain mathematical problems and ideas in an accessible and understandable way. They provide exciting insights into current topics of the mathematical community for everyone who is interested in modern mathematics.

The snapshots are written by participants of the scientific program at the MFO, who volunteer to explain an important aspect of their research. A team of editors assists them in communicating complicated matters to a broad audience. The MFO publishes the snapshots for free download under a Creative Commons license here and on the IMAGINARY platform.

The Snapshot project is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern mathematics and mathematical research in the general public world-wide. The targeted readership consists of mathematics teachers, science journalists, undergraduate and advanced high school students. If you are interested in writing a snapshot, please contact the organizers of the program in which you are participating.

The project started in January 2014 as part of the project "Oberwolfach meets IMAGINARY". It is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and has also been supported by the Oberwolfach Foundation and the MFO.

Current snapshots

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No. 12/2016: Footballs and donuts in four dimensions
Steven Klee

No. 11/2016: The Willmore Conjecture
Nikolai Nowaczyk

No. 10/2016: Prime Tuples in Function Fields
Lior Bary-Soroker

No. 9/2016: Polyhedra and commensurability
Rafael Guglielmetti, Matthieu Jacquemet

No. 8/2016: Fokus-Erkennung bei Epilepsiepatienten mithilfe moderner Verfahren der Zeitreihenanalyse
Manfred Deistler, Andreas Gräf

No. 7/2016: Wie steuert man einen Kran?
Robert Altmann, Jan Heiland

No. 6/2016: High performance computing on smartphones
Anthony T. Patera, Karsten Urban

No. 5/2016: Symmetry and characters of finite groups
Eugenio Giannelli, Jay Taylor

No. 4/2016: Das Problem der Kugelpackung
Maria Dostert, Stefan Krupp, Jan Hendrik Rolfes

No. 3/2016: On the containment problem
Tomasz Szemberg and Justyna Szpond

No. 2/2016: Random sampling of domino and lozenge tilings
Éric Fusy

No. 1/2016: Swarming robots
Magnus Egerstedt


No. 17/2015: From computer algorithms to quantum field theory: an introduction to operads
Ulrich Krähmer

No. 16/2015: Domino tilings of the Aztec Diamond
Juanjo Rué

No. 15/2015: The mystery of sleeping sickness – why does it keep waking up?
Sebastian Funk

No. 14/2015: Quantum diffusion
Antti Knowles

No.13/2015: Modelling the spread of brain tumours
Amanda Swan, Albert Murtha

No. 12/2015: Visual Analysis of Spanish Male Mortality
J.S. Marron

No. 11/2015: Curriculum development in university mathematics: where mathematicians and education collide
Christopher J. Sangwin

No. 10/2015: Special values of zeta functions and areas of triangles
Jürg Kramer, Anna-Maria von Pippich

No. 9/2015: How to choose a winner: the mathematics of social choice
Victoria Powers

No. 8/2015: Ideas of Newton-Okounkov bodies
Valentina Kiritchenko, Evgeny Smirnov, Vladlen Timorin

No. 7/2015: Darcy's law and groundwater flow modelling
Ben Schweizer

No. 6/2015: Modeling communication and movement: from cells to animals and humans
Raluca Eftimie

No. 5/2015: Chaos and chaotic fluid mixing
Tom Solomon

No. 4/2015: Friezes and tilings
Thorsten Holm

No. 3/2015: Zero-dimensional symmetry
George Willis

No. 2/2015: Minimizing energy
Christine Breiner

No. 1/2015: Billiards and flat surfaces
Diana Davis


No. 10/2014: Drugs, herbicides, and numerical simulation
Peter Benner, Hermann Mena, René Schneider

No. 9/2014: Operator theory and the singular value decomposition
Gregory Knese

No. 8/2014: The Kadison-Singer Problem
Alain Valette

No. 7/2014: Swallowtail on the shore
Ragnar-Olaf Buchweitz, Eleonore Faber

No. 6/2014: Statistics and dynamical phenomena
Howell Tong

No. 5/2014: Arrangements of lines
Brian Harbourne, Thomas Szemberg

No. 4/2014: What does ">" really mean?
Bruce Reznick

No. 3/2014: The ternary Goldbach Problem
Harald Helfgott

No. 2/2014: Matrixfaktorisierungen
Wolfgang Lerche

No. 1/2014: Dirichlet Series
John E. McCarthy


Dr. Tatjana Ruf

Editorial board

JProf. Dr. Carla Cederbaum
(senior editor)

Prof. Dr. Andrew Cooper
(junior editor)
Dr. Moritz Firsching (junior editor)
Sophia Jahns (junior editor)
Daniel Kronberg (junior editor)
Johannes Niediek (junior editor)
Sabiha Tokus (junior editor)