Continuing major investments in mathematics

The development of new medicines, decision-making support, artificial intelligence and other areas that are essential to improving people’s health and quality of life are entirely dependent on new mathematics and skilled researchers in mathematics. This year, fifteen mathematicians will receive funding from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s mathematics program.

To boost Swedish mathematics research, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation launched a research program in mathematics in 2014. 

“New mathematics helps us to understand the links between genetics and disease, for example, or how climate change affects life on Earth. Mathematical development and knowledge are also decisive if Sweden is to keep up with the ongoing digital revolution, including artificial intelligence and automation,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. He continues, “We are therefore delighted that the Foundation, through these investments, has so far been able to support 87 Swedish and international researchers and so contribute to strengthening the international competitiveness of Swedish mathematics.”

Around SEK 25 million per year

This year, a total of fifteen mathematicians will benefit from the funding. Six of them are young researchers in mathematics in Sweden, who will receive a two-year grant for positions at universities in the Czech Republic, USA, Germany, Great Britain and China. They will also receive funding for another two years after they return and continue their research in Sweden.

This funding will also enable five young foreign researchers and four highly qualified visiting professors to be recruited to Swedish universities.

Since the program was founded, an annual average of SEK 25 million has been distributed for grants and appointments. It is run in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which evaluates all the nominated candidates. Göran K. Hansson, General Secretary of the Academy, emphasized that he sees a great need for investment in mathematics research.

“Mathematics is a scientific discipline of great significance. It is important to many other sciences, as well as to digital development, and we need strong mathematics research in Sweden. This research program in mathematics gives young Swedish mathematicians the opportunity to work at universities outside Sweden, and foreign postdocs and qualified visiting professors can come here. I am convinced that the exchange of thoughts, ideas and, not least, knowledge, this entails will play a major role in the development of mathematics in Sweden.”

Six researchers receive postdoctoral positions at foreign universities and funding for two years after they return to Sweden:

Doctoral student Simon Larson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany)

Doctor Axel Ringh, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China)

Doctor Gabriele Balletti, Stockholm University (Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany)

Doctor Jakob Hultgren, Chalmers University of Technology (University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA)

Doctor Jakob Zimmermann, Uppsala University (University of East Anglia, Norwich, Great Britain)

Doctoral student Susanna Figueiredo de Rezende, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic)

Five researchers receive grants to recruit a foreign researcher for a postdoctoral position in Sweden:

Professor Henrik Shahgholian, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Professor Håkan Hedenmalm, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Associate Professor Danijela Damjanovic, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Associate Professor Wushi Goldring, Stockholm University

Dr. Julia Brandes, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg

Four established researchers from outside Sweden will be visiting professors at Swedish universities (in brackets)

Professor Robert R. Bruner, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Associate Professor Stephen Pankavich, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA (Chalmers University of Technology)

Professor Gernot Akemann, Bielefeld University, Germany (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Associate Professor Daniel Appelö, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA (Uppsala University)

Read more about the researchers and their projects 

About the program:
For the period 2014–2023, the program provides SEK 340 million for Swedish postdocs abroad, as well as the international recruitment of foreign postdocs and visiting professors to Swedish institutions. There is also an additional SEK 73 million for the Academy’s Institut Mittag-Leffler, one of the world’s top ten mathematics institutions. The program is run in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which evaluates all the nominated candidates.

Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chairman, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80, 

Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 
+46 (0)8 673 95 00,

Göran Sandberg, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 
46 (0)8 545 017 80,

Press Contact:
Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
46 (0)70 878 67 63,

In order for Sweden to regain an international, cutting edge position in Mathematics, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, will support prominent researchers in Mathematics during 2014–2023. The funding amounts to a total of SEK 340 million. 

About Us

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was established in 1917. The Foundation’s aim is to benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, mainly in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved through grants to excellent researchers and to projects. The Foundation has since its establishment awarded more than SEK 27 billion in grants, of which SEK almost 2 billion yearly in recent years, to excellent basic research and education in Sweden.