30. July 2021

First Argelander Professorship filled Researching across discipline boundaries: mathematician Florian Brandl grapples with economic theory

Researching across discipline boundaries: mathematician Florian Brandl grapples with economic theory

How can several stakeholders make decisions as one when they possess different information or need to take uncertainties into account? This and other questions are on the plate of mathematician and economic theorist Dr. Florian Brandl, who took up the first Argelander Professorship in the Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) on April 1 and started work as a Bonn Junior Fellow at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics at the same time. He is the first researcher to hold such a professorship, one of several new posts created for exceptional early-career researchers who excel in combining several different disciplines. In the case of Florian Brandl’s research, these are mathematics, economics and computer science. An article from forsch 2021/01.

Florian Brandl
Florian Brandl - Dr. Florian Brandl was appointed to the first Argelander Professorship in the Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) on April 1. © Christian Bleicher Fotowelt
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The Argelander Professorships (named after Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander, an astronomer from Bonn who died in 1875) are positioned at the interface between two disciplines and are intended to strengthen the TRAs as well as the individual faculties. They enable early-career researchers to develop independent research at the boundaries between the disciplines. “The Argelander Professorships are an important part of our University’s understanding of transdisciplinarity,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer, Vice Rector for Research and Early-Career Researchers. “In Florian Brandl, we’ve acquired an outstanding researcher who’s doing research of the very highest quality at the interface between various disciplines.”

The first Argelander Professorship that has now been filled is unique in that it is not for a fixed term. This has been made possible by the partnership between the “Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems” TRA, the Faculty of Law and Economics, and the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics.


“Florian Brandl is an extremely talented and prolific young researcher whose work combines methods and approaches from economic theory, mathematics and computer science,” explains Prof. Dr. Jürgen von Hagen, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Economics. “This makes him a perfect fit for the Argelander Professorship and a valuable asset to the Institute for Microeconomics.”


What do we base our decisions on?
Florian Brandl’s research tackles issues associated with microeonomic theory, particularly social choice, decision and game theory. He wants to further develop the theoretical foundations of individual and collective decisions. For example, he is investigating the influence of uncertainty on decision-making and studying the impact of asymmetric (unequal) information on collective decisions. He is also looking at ways to distribute resources fairly among several individuals and studying how strategic behavior influences these processes. One tool in his quest for an answer to his research questions may be algorithmic solutions, which is why his work also includes aspects of theoretical computer science.

“With its expertise in microeconomic theory and its Transdisciplinary Research Areas with mathematics and computer science, the University of Bonn is a great place for me to be,” Florian Brandl says. “The Argelander Professorship and the Bonn Junior Fellowship are allowing me to contribute to these fields and help link them together.”

He completed his doctorate at the Technical University of Munich in 2018 and was most recently a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford and Princeton universities thanks to a research fellowship from the German Research Foundation.



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