In publica commoda

Press release: Göttingen University wins further Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

Nr. 248/2014 - 24.10.2014

Professor Harald Andrés Helfgott nominated for Mathematical Institute

(pug) Göttingen University has been successful in its nomination for the most highly endowed German research prize: The mathematician Professor Harald Andrés Helfgott has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. The professorship carries funding from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research amounting to 3.5 million euros over a period of five years. This means that Göttingen University is able to make the renowned scientist an attractive offer to win his involvement in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science‘s Mathematical Institute, presumably starting in April 2015.

In 2013, Professor Helfgott was the first to develop a computer-based approach to calculating Goldbach‘s ternary conjecture. According to the conjecture, which has kept mathematicians busy since the 18th century, every odd number from seven upwards is the sum of three prime numbers. „We are delighted that this nomination has been successful,“ University President Professor Ulrike Beisiegel said. „Professor Helfgott will strengthen the University and the Mathematical Institute on a lasting basis.“

„Professor Helfgott is one of the world’s leading mathematicians in analytical number theory and group theory“, emphasized Professor Jörg Brüdern, who – as Director of the Mathematical Institute – initiated the nomination. „As Alexander von Humboldt Professor, he can reinforce the research focus on algebraic geometry and number theory and help Göttingen to advance from an internationally recognised centre of excellence to a global leader in the field.“

Born in Peru in 1977, Harald Andrés Helfgott has been a senior researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris since 2010, becoming a research professor in October 2014. He studied in the United States, first at Brandeis University and then at Princeton University, where he took his doctorate in 2003. He continued his career as a postdoc at Yale University, USA, and as a lecturer at the Université de Montréal, Canada. After a sojourn at the University of Bristol, UK, he joined CNRS in France in 2010. Helfgott is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Société Mathématique de France. In his home country of Peru he holds an honorary professorship at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

Alexander von Humboldt Professorships are intended to enable German universities to attract outstanding personnel to Germany while giving them a long-term working perspective in the country. As a rule, the volume of funding amounts to five million euros for scientists conducting experimental research and three and a half million euros for those in theoretical research. Up to ten professorships of this type are awarded each year.

Professor Jörg Brüdern or Professor Valentin Blomer
University of Göttingen
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Mathematical Institute
Bunsenstraße 3-5, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Phone +49 551 39-4532 or -7787
Email: or