Universität Bonn

09. November 2023

Lisa Sauermann receives the von Kaven Award Lisa Sauermann receives the von Kaven Award

The Hausdorff Chair is honored by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Lisa Sauermann has been honored with the von Kaven Award 2023 for her outstanding scientific achievements. The award is presented by the von Kaven Foundation, which is managed by the DFG. Lisa Sauermann was appointed as one of the prestigious Hausdorff Chairs only a few months ago. She has been carrying out research and teaching at the Institute for Applied Mathematics at the University of Bonn since August. The von Kaven Award includes prize money of 10,000 euros and will be presented on November 17, 2023, at the Gauß Lecture organized by the German Mathematical Society (DMV).

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The prizewinner was informed about her upcoming award by email by the German Research Foundation. “I am of course delighted to receive the award and feel very honored that my scientific work is recognized in this way,” says Lisa Sauermann. “My family and I have not yet decided what we will do with the prize money.”
Lisa Sauermann’s main field of research is so-called probabilistic combinatorics, in which combinatorial problems are investigated with the aid of techniques found in probability theory. This subdiscipline of discrete mathematics focuses on, for example, the maximum possible number of sets or other objects under certain conditions. There are many applications for this research not only in the field of mathematics but also in neighboring disciplines such as coding theory or computer science.


After completing her high school education, Lisa Sauermann graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Bonn and then moved to Stanford University in 2014. She completed a five-year program at Stanford that included a master’s degree and PhD in mathematics. Her doctoral thesis was awarded the Richard Rado Prize from the Discrete Mathematics Section of the German Mathematical Society. After receiving her doctorate, Lisa Sauermann worked at Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton until she was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2021. That same year Lisa Sauermann received the European Prize in Combinatorics and in 2022 she was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. Since this fall the 31-year-old mathematician is supported by the Heisenberg Program of the German Research Foundation (DFG), which provides five-year grants for outstanding scientists.

The von Kaven Award

The von Kaven Award is generally presented to young mathematicians in the Heisenberg or Emmy Noether Programs of the DFG in recognition of outstanding achievements. The recipient is selected by the DFG’s mathematics review board. The prize money comes from a foundation established in 2004 by mathematician Herbert von Kaven in cooperation with the DFG. Von Kaven was primarily interested in and committed to promoting the foundations of mathematics throughout his life. He died in 2009 at age 101.

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