Chat No 2: Has HGS MathComp met your expectations?

Prof. Bastian, Prof. Heermann and Prof. Bock were interviewed by Ágnes Horvát and Christoph Zimmer.

HGS fellows are spread over several different locations and institutes. Most of them see less than five other fellows per week. Accordingly a question underlying all discussions about HGS-related issues among fellows is: Why should I bother about the graduate school? I have a nice research group!

The second HGS MathComp fireside chat focused structure, strengths, and weaknesses of the HGS MathComp and pros and cons of a graduate school for PhD candidates in general. For this purpose, the HGS MathComp leadership listened to the questions and statements of the fellows.

"The graduate school is meant as an opportunity for you. You might take it or not, it's up to you", said Peter Bastian, who drew successfully the proposal for the second funding period of HGS MathComp. "But if you do take the chance, we try to give you all extra-support for your career, that you may not receive from your supervisor, as soft skill courses for example. This means you can ask us for any courses and lectures that are important for you. We will try to organize them with you if you. The same if you would like to invite guests from abroad or even a debate or lecture club - HGS MathComp will help you to creat all those things. You just have to take the chance of this service unit!"

In answer to the question why you should bother with the graduate school from a meta level point of view, it seems that there are still obstacles to be overcam for succeeding in creating a lively and proactive community within any excellence initiatives. This funding program has designed new structures under the roof of the universities, which now need to create sustainability if they do not want to disappiear after the excellence program runs out. Creating sustainability however, is only possible by including the ideas of the next generation of scientists. Maybe this is the answer to your question why you should bother about the HGS MathComp.

The organization team would like to thank the professors for accepting the invitation and discussing even the boldest of the fellows' questions.

We hope that despite the critical issues - or maybe precisely because of them - all participants had a good time. We believe that the event generated ideas and motivation to approach future concerns of the graduate school! (Christoph and Ágnes)