Professor Jürgen Richter-Gebert of the Technical University of Munich wants to eliminate people’s fear of mathematics. What does his subject have to do with music, and why is the million dollar prize money for solving some math problems?
School has started again and with it many children, teachers and parents struggle with math. It is the ultimate theme of fear. Jürgen Richter-Gebert, 59, a professor of geometry and visualization at the Technical University of Munich, has made it his life’s work to change that. With exhibits, an app, and lectures, he wants to spark interest in science and show how beautiful math can be. In 2021, he was awarded the Communicator Prize of the German Research Foundation for his services. As part of the “Seven Greatest Mathematical Adventures” nationwide event, he will speak about the Millennium Challenge at his Munich residence today at 6:00 p.m. In an interview with SZ, he talks about how they relate to our everyday lives, why mathematicians around the world are gritting their teeth, and how math can be fun.