Universität Bonn

30. January 2024

Thorsten Beckmann receives the Hausdorff Memorial Award Thorsten Beckmann receives the Hausdorff Memorial Award

Daniel Huybrechts' PhD student impresses with exceptional productivity and range of ideas

The Department of Mathematics (Fachgruppe Mathematik) honors Thorsten Michael Beckmann for the best dissertation of the academic year 2022/2023 in mathematics with the Hausdorff Memorial Prize. The honor today was presented by the chair of the Department, Herbert Koch, before the Hausdorff Colloquium in the Lipschitz Hall.

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Thorsten Beckmann 3.jpg © SH
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In his PhD thesis "Geometry and derived category of holomorphic symplectic vector fields", supervised by Daniel Huybrechts, Thorsten Beckmann investigates various aspects of hyper-Kähler manifolds and abelian varieties such as their derived categories, sheaves, cycles and topology.

Thorsten Beckmann studies an important class of algebraic varieties, irreducible holomorphic symplectic varieties. These varieties (also called compact hyperkähler manifolds) are higher dimensional analogues of K3 surfaces. They are simply connected complex projective manifolds with a unique symplectic form, up to scalars. The theory of K3 surfaces has played a decisive role in the history of algebraic geometry, with its unique mix of algebraic and transcendental techniques. Famous conjectures (Weil, Tate) have first been proven for K3 surfaces and often with techniques that turned out to be applicable and crucial in a much broader context.

Each section contains interesting, highly original new results in mathematics that could constitute a PhD thesis in algebraic geometry on its own. Taken together, they treat a broad range of problems, that are attacked with a richness of original ideas and impressive technical skills. The results are at the forefront of a rapidly moving field. Many of Beckmann’s contributions build on recent advances of others, and his thesis contains a lot of material that will be the basis or inspiration for many in the field. Thorsten Beckmann was very productive in the four years of his PhD at an exceptionally high level and impressed with nine papers, some of which have already been published in excellent journals and are excellently received. The dissertation consists of six of these papers. 

This is not the first award that Thorsten Beckmann has received: His Bachelor's thesis "Motivic integration" was already awarded the Bachelor Prize of the Bonn Mathematical Society, and his Master's thesis "Birational geometry of moduli spaces of stable objects on Enriques surfaces" was published in the journal Selecta Mathematica. Both theses were also supervised by Daniel Huybrechts. Thorsten Beckmann now works as a Data Science Consultant at the pharma & life science company Comma Soft AG in Bonn.

The Hausdorff Memorial Prize is awarded in honor of Felix Hausdorff each year around the anniversary of his death, January 26, at the Hausdorff Colloquium. The professors and lecturers have the right to nominate candidates. The decision is made by a jury appointed by the Department of Mathematics. The prize consists of 500 euros in prize money and a book prize.

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