Newsletter 2020-II

The newsletter informs on the latest news, developments and activities of the MFO, in particular with regard to the re-opening of the institute and the measures concerning the corona-crisis.


  1. Re-opening of the MFO on June 21, 2020
  2. Measures concerning Coronavirus/Covid-19
  3. Oberwolfach Research Fellows (until December 2020)
  4. Call for applications for 2022 Oberwolfach Workshops
  5. New grant: Oberwolfach Foundation Fellows
  6. Oberwolfach Seminars and Banach-Center Oberwolfach Graduate Seminars in fall - winter 2020

1. Re-opening of the MFO on June 21, 2020

We are pleased that about 20 researchers are coming to Oberwolfach who were invited as participants of the workshop "Geometric Structures in Group Theory" (ID 2026). During the week June 21-26, they will form individual work groups, give talks and are connected to their international collegues using our enhanced video conference tools. Usually, a workshop has 50 participants, but the smaller size of the group creates in turn a very intense working atmosphere.

2. Measures concerning Coronavirus/Covid-19

Measures concerning the corona-crisis may be quickly adjusted to changing guidelines and recommendations of the German authorities. Please regularly inform yourself on this special site on our measures concerning the coronavirus.

New hygiene measures

The MFO has developed new hygiene measures for hand desinfection, accommodation, lecture halls and individual meal services to make a research stay at Oberwolfach as safe as possible.

Hybrid (mixed personal/online) workshops at Oberwolfach

In agreement with the workshop organizers, the MFO can realize workshops in a hybrid format now. For the participants who cannot come in person, the MFO will provide modern video conferencing tools such as Zoom such that they can actively attend the lectures in the large lecture hall as well as discussion sessions that the organizers and other participants initiate. We hope that the situation will stabilize further such that the possible number of guest researchers will increase in future. The concept of hybrid workshops is flexible enough such that we can quickly react to changes in the restricions defined by the governments.

Postponed activities

Due to the dynamic development and change in travel restrictions several meetings until mid of June had regretfully to be cancelled. Some of them could be shifted to fall or winter 2020, the other meetings had to be postponed to 2022 in accordance with the organizers. The program for 2022 will be fixed until the end of 2020 and then we can inform the invitees about the new date.

We are very pleased that the two postponed workshops

have organized an Oberwolfach Online Seminar for the invited participants.

For workshops in the second half of the year 2020, we offer the new possibility of hybrid workshops (see above). If a workshop should nevertheless be cancelled in a common decision by the organizers and the MFO, it has to re-apply for the workshop program 2022 or 2023 because of our restricted capacity, unfortunately.

General advise and travel restrictions

We ask all our guests to make a responsible decision about their visit at the MFO and, if necessary (e.g. due to respiratory symptoms and/or recent contacts with an infected person or stays in risk areas) cancel their participation.

The MFO may be forced to withdraw invitations to participants coming from areas that are deemed to be high risk by government institutions. We will inform the concerned participants individually, as soon as possible. Please be aware, that the definition of high risk areas may be changed very quickly. We kindly ask for your understanding.

Now, travelling in Europe is possible again and we hope that restrictions in further countries will change soon. Note that many universities (not only in Germany) cancel or re-open their institutional travel restrictions and enable conference visits again, just now. In many cases, these announcements are not so easy to find on the corresponding universities websites.

Please note that the MFO cannot foresee possible changes in future contact and travel restrictions by the government. Participants themselves are responsible to inquire about restrictions on travel to and from Germany; thus we strongly recommend to make travel arrangements flexible/refundable in case the Corona crisis continues or resurfaces in the future. We are sorry that we are not able to reimburse travel tickets which cannot be used because of force majeure. This also applies to grants.

3. Oberwolfach Research Fellows (until December 2020

In order to react to the current crisis the MFO offers in the period from July 1st to December 18, 2020, the possibility to apply for an Oberwolfach Research Fellowship. Single researchers or groups up to four people can apply for a stay between two weeks and three months. Junior researchers and post-docs can apply for full scholarships and travel support.

4. Call for applications for 2022 Oberwolfach Workshops

We invite applications for 2022 workshops. As usual, the deadline for proposals is end of July 2020. The free workshop capacity in 2022 is not much affected by the postponed workshops from the past 12 weeks as the MFO was able to re-schedule some of these activities in parallel to our fixed program in fall/winter 2020. Thus the approval chances for an 2022 Oberwolfach workshop proposal are similar as in the past years.

Proposals of Oberwolfach Workshops

The deadline for proposals of Oberwolfach Workshops in 2022 is end of July 2020. The decision on the proposals by the Oberwolfach Scientific Committee is scheduled to the end of October 2020. See also our guidelines for proposals of an Oberwolfach Workshop.

Applications should be sent as pdf-files to the Director Prof. Gerhard Huisken, via

Proposals of Oberwolfach Mini-Workshops

The fixed weeks and deadlines to apply for an Oberwolfach Mini-Workshop in 2021 are

Dates of Mini-Workshops Deadlines for proposals
07 Feb - 13 Feb 2021 01 September 2020
09 May - 15 May 2021 01 September 2020
05 Sep - 11 Sep 2021 01 March 2021
05 Dec - 11 Dec 2021 01 March 2021

For more details, please see

5. New grant: Oberwolfach Foundation Fellows

Since 2019 there is a new grant of the Oberwolfach Foundation to support invited excellent junior researchers with regard to their travel to the MFO. Details on the application process and the prerequisites for support can be found in the description of the grant. A complete overview on all possible grants for junior researchers can be found in the grants-table.

6. Oberwolfach Seminars and Banach-Center Oberwolfach Graduate Seminars in fall - winter 2020

These seminars are not workshops or conferences, but summer schools which address to excellent and promising graduate students and post docs.

Oberwolfach Seminars 2020

There will be 4 seminars in fall - winter 2020:

18 Oct - 24 Oct 2020  (ID: 2043a)
Tropical Curves, Logarithmic Structures, and Enumerative Geometry
Renzo Cavalieri, Fort Collins
Hannah Markwig, Tübingen
Dhruv Ranganathan, Cambridge UK
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 1 August 2020

18 Oct - 24 Oct 2020  (ID: 2043b)
New Techniques in Resolution of Singularities
Dan Abramovich, Providence
Anne Frühbis-Krüger, Oldenburg
Michael Temkin, Jerusalem
Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk, West Lafayette
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 1 August 2020

22 Nov - 28 Nov 2020  (ID: 2048a)
The Cutoff Phenomenon for Finite Markov Chains
Charles Bordenave, Toulouse
Persi Diaconis, Stanford
Hubert Lacoin, Rio de Janeiro
Justin Salez, Paris
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 15 September 2020

22 Nov - 28 Nov 2020  (ID: 2048b)
Combinatorial and Geometric Knot Theory
Colin C. Adams, Williamstown
Louis H. Kauffman, Chicago
Sofia Lambropoulou, Athens
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 15 September 2020

Applications including full name, postal address, e-mail address, CV and publication list, present position, university, name of supervisor of Ph.D. thesis, a short summary of previous work and research interests should be sent as pdf-files to the Vice Director (

Banach-Center Oberwolfach Graduate Seminars 2020

Because of the big success of the first Banach-Center Oberwolfach Graduate Seminar in November 2019 there will be two of these seminars in 2020. These seminars are supported and organized in cooperation of the Banach-Center and the MFO.

1 Nov - 7 Nov 2020  (ID: 2045a)
Model Reduction and Approximation: Projection-, Tensor- and Data-based Methods
Bernard Haasdonk, Stuttgart
Anthony Nouy, Nantes
Mario Ohlberger, Münster
Stefan Volkwein, Konstanz
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 1 August 2020

1 Nov - 7 Nov 2020  (ID: 2045b)
Optimal Transport Theory and Hydrodynamics (from Euler to Monge and vice versa)
Yann Brenier, Paris
Mikaela Iacobelli, Durham
Filippo Santambrogio, Villeurbanne
Poster with program
Deadline for applications: 1 August 2020

The seminars addresse to excellent and promising graduate students and post docs and takes place at the Mathematical Research and Conference Center of the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Będlewo. Please see the website of the center where you can find basic information (location, travel etc.):

The number of participants is restricted to about 25-30 persons for each seminar. See the poster of the seminar for information how to apply via

Please note that the responsability for these seminars is as follows:

  • Advertisment and administration: Banach Center and MFO
  • Accommodation, full board, local hygiene conditions: Bedlewo Center
  • Travel arrangements: Each participant on its own