The Graduate Centre Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences offers excellent doctoral programmes that are housed in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, the Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy, and the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (MPI MiS).
Our doctoral programmes partner with a large number of research institutions in Leipzig, including the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, the Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) and the Institut für Nichtklassische Chemie (INC). Doctoral researchers from these institutions are welcome to take part in events in the Graduate Centre.
The mathematical research fields take an interdisciplinary approach and include mathematics, theoretical physics and elements of computer science. They focus on research into structural questions that arise from physical and biological issues.
Our interdisciplinary research areas in physics and chemistry include the following:
- nano- and microdimensional compound semiconductors and the development of new materials
- polymer research
- methods of theoretical computer science in the field of quantitative logics and automata
- effects of aerosols and clouds on Earth’s climate system
- strong dynamics and criticality in quantum and gravitational systems
Currently, about 200 enrolled doctoral researchers are in the Graduate Centre, with 27 per cent of whom are international students. About 100 university lecturers and postdocs supervise and train the doctoral researchers. Subject-specific training takes place within the individual doctoral programmes. In addition, interdisciplinary training programs are organised to promote interdisciplinary exchange.
Doctoral Programmes in the Graduate Centre
The statistical physics of complex systems is a broad field that ranges from the study of quantum phenomena to the conformational behaviour of biomolecules. Such an extensive field can only be successfully comprehended by employing a variety of theoretical methods. The Research Training Group, which is jointly supervised by the Université Nancy and Leipzig University, brings together the expertise in analytical theory available in Nancy and the many years of experience in sophisticated computer-oriented simulation studies in Leipzig. Thanks to this cutting-edge research, the partnership offers a unique opportunity for early career researchers in these fields. The German and French scientists involved work closely together and as such contribute to strengthening international networks in the field. On the French side, there are binational fellowships with Ukraine and Russia that are funded by the CNRS, and on the German side the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has an institutional partnership with Kraków (Poland) and with the EU RTN network ENRAGE, which consists of 13 European research groups.
The aim of Research Training Group 2522 "Strong Dynamics and Criticality in Quantum and Gravitational Systems" is to investigate and calculate the emergence of complexity in gravitational and quantum field theories starting from the basic building blocks. The working groups concentrate on topics that are current or conceptually relevant such as gravitational wave phenomena and black holes on the gravitational side as well as dynamics and criticality near phase transitions on the quantum side. The Research Training Group is carried out in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
The Graduate School "Leipzig School of Natural Sciences – Building with Molecules and Nano-objects (BuildMoNa)" focuses on interdisciplinary graduate education through top-level, synergistic research. Their strategy for developing new materials is based on a “bottom-up” approach. Progressive building blocks such as nanoparticles, smart molecules, polymeric scaffolds, peptides and proteins are combined – preferably via mechanisms of self-organisation – to create new materials that are intelligent, adaptable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective and that resemble living matter. The paradigm shift from uniform bulk materials towards nanostructured multifunctional materials based on intelligent combinations of the above building blocks is essential for the future knowledge transfer from fundamental to applied sciences. BuildMoNa is active in interdisciplinary research, the application and development of novel methods, and interdisciplinary education.
The understanding and further development of the latest trends in the field of polymer science require a solid foundation and understanding of the broad field of polymer synthesis, its physical characterisation and theoretical description. Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the Collaborative Research Centre, it offers exciting postgraduate opportunities in many areas of polymer science and improves the communication between doctoral researchers as well as their readiness for challenging careers in industry and academia. The Research Training Group brings together the teaching experience of the partner universities Halle and Leipzig in the field of soft matter and also regularly hosts visiting researchers.
The International Max Planck Research School "Mathematics in the Sciences" (IMPRS MIS) is a joint project between the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences and the Institutes for Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics at Leipzig University. The IMPRS MiS aims to provide doctoral researchers with a common view of the mathematical sciences. This approach views mathematics as a tool for understanding and describing scientific problems and conversely sees that scientific applications can lead to new and challenging mathematics. The scientific program offered by IMPRS MiS focuses on interdisciplinary research and training doctoral researchers. The training includes a wide range of mathematical research areas such as geometry, partial differential equations and functional analysis, stochastics, and discrete mathematics.
Tropospheric particles play an important role in many scientific areas of inquiry, from assessing air quality and describing chemical processing of atmospheric gases and aerosols to analysing the formation of clouds and precipitation and predicting climate change. The associated processes are highly complex and require expertise in the fields of solid-state physics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetic field theory, meteorology, organic chemistry and heterogeneous chemistry. The aim of the Leipzig Graduate School "Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation: Mineral Dust" is to harness this expertise through a partnership between the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research and Leipzig University in order to be able to offer doctoral researchers an interdisciplinary training and research environment. The research in the consortium focuses on achieving a better understanding of physical and chemical processes in the area of clouds, aerosols and their radiation properties.
The aim of this research training group is to investigate quantitative logics and automata and how they are connected. This investigation is conducted in a systematic and thorough manner using methods from theoretical computer science. Possible applications of the research lie in verification problems, knowledge representation and the processing of tree-structured data. The training and supervision in the program are intended to provide doctoral researchers with as much freedom as possible for conducting independent research work, while optimally preparing them for and supporting them in their research activities. In addition to the weekly research seminar, the curriculum includes reading groups, a summer school in the first year of every cohort, advanced lectures, and an annual workshop. In addition, doctoral researchers are encouraged to participate in soft skills courses offered by the participating universities.