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Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems


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UBo_18_92_Broschüre Antrag Exzellenzuniversität_Icon Modelling.jpgThe creation of models is at the heart of many quantitative sciences. Nowadays, computers are able to process increasingly large data sets in decreasingly short time to create scientific forecasting models. A complex world like ours can certainly not be explained by simple models. The understanding of how complex systems, with many components that interact with each other, actually work, is one of the biggest challenges of our time, arising in numerous areas of science and technology. In a combination of classical observational methods, data simulation and creative spirit, scientists from a broad range of disciplines create models that not only describe complex systems, but are able to analyze their behavior.

Inspired by tradition

The University of Bonn has a traditional strength in mathematics. The Hausdorff Center for Mathematics (HCM) with its integrated graduate school is the oldest cluster of excellence for mathematics in Germany and has made the University of Bonn one of the top mathematical research institutions worldwide. The exceptional standing of mathematics in Bonn is demonstrated by many high level awards, most notably two Fields Medals (“Nobel prize of mathematics”).

The Bonn University‘s Institute of Computer Science was one of the first of its kind in Germany. Hosting various ERC-Grant holders and one of the German Informatics Society’s “most influential minds from the German history of artificial intelligence (AI)”, Bonn is one of Germany’s top 10 computer science locations.

The Department of Economics of the University of Bonn is one of the leading economic research institutions in Europe and enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. This is confirmed by international rankings as well as numerous highly ranked prizes and awards - notably the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994. 

The TRA 1 Modelling defines herself as a contentual research alliance in between the institutes of mathematics, computer sciences and quantitative economics with further close cooperation with the faculties of medicine and agriculture and institutional participation of the b-it (Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology) and Max-Planck-Institute for mathematics.

Going beyond borders of disciplines

At the core of this Transdisciplinary Research Area is mathematics, which provides a universal tool and language for all quantitative sciences. Mathematics evolves by exploration and curiosity about its inherent structures and by new questions arising in science and technology. The central challenge for computer science lies in improving data-driven methods for the creation of intelligent models of complex systems. Combining such data-driven models with classical mathematical modelling will drive progress in computation. One of the goals is to learn models from data; both models of an environment as well as models of a system that operates in the environment. This is possible using either mathematical modeling and/or data-driven methods. Importantly, models have to be comprehensible or explainable by users.

The TRA 1 Modeling deliberately addresses a broad, open spectrum of transdisciplinary topics. Besides the traditional cooperation of Bonns economists and mathematicians, topics of the Interdisciplinary Research Units Mathematics and life sciences (HCM), i.e., research cooperatives within mathematics, medicine and life science, have to be mentioned. Further examples are the cooperation between the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics with IBM for more than 30 years as well as the associated research area „combinatorial optimization, complexity, and chip design“ at the interface of mathematics, computer science and engineering or the SFB 1060 - The Mathematics of Emergent Effects at the interface of mathematics and physics. Besides the established cooperatives, we consciously support new, innovative cooperatives such as cooperative research projects within geodesy, computer science and mathematics or at the interface of economics and computer science.


More than 30 years of cooperation between the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics and IBM: „Mathematik und Ästhetik des Chipdesigns“ Special Exhibition at Arithmeum

Funded projects

Current fundings take place for projects at the interfaces of geodesy and computer sciences, mathematics and life sciences/medicine, economics and computer sciences, as well as mathematics, computer sciences and linguistics.


Workshop on Computational Models in Biology and Medicine 2020; contact: Prof. Jan Hasenauer

OSE OpenSourceEconomics; contact: Prof. Philipp Eisenhauer 
    OSE scientific computing 
    OSE Retreat

CiliaQ, Digitalization of software applications; contact: Prof. Dagmar Wachten


Start-up Fundings:

Proposal for „Algorithmic Data Analytics for Geodesy”; contact: Prof. Petra Mutzel

„Establishment of computational methods for spatially-resolved deep profiling of biological tissues”; contact: Prof. Jan Hasenauer, Prof. Michael Hölzel & Prof. Marieta Toma

„UNCOVer: Uncertainty Quantification of COVID-19 Epidemiological Models”; contact: Dr. Dilan Pathirana & Elba Raimúndez Álvarez

"Naproche - Natural Language Proof Checking"; contact: Prof. Peter Koepke




Prof. Dr. Anton Bovier
Institute for Applied Mathematics

Prof. Dr. Heiko Röglin
Institute for Computer Science 


TRA Manager
Division 7 Research and Support Management

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Phone: +49 (0) 151 221 406 26

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