The HGS MathComp Fellows' Speakers

Every year the fellows' general assembly elects the fellows representatives consisting of two speakers and two deputies. It is our job to communicate the opinion of the fellows to the PIs during the executive-board meetings. We can also suggest changes/ additions to curriculum and topics within the graduate school to improve the experience from the fellows' perspective.

To be able to do this we need input from you! Are you satisfied? Are you frustrated? Can something be improved? Do you want to hear talks by specific people? Would you like to have a lecture or compact course on a specific topic? Do you need free sushi and beer in the common room?  We can discuss all these things on your behalf (with varying degrees of success obviously) - so do contact us at 


We also organize and participate in the HGS MathComp Initiative GroupHave a look at the awesome stuff done there :-).


Group Photo

René Heß


 After finding a greeting not yet used on this page I will give a short introduction of myself. I'm doing my PhD on high performance aspects of numerical solutions of PDE problems. Some buzzwords connected to my topic:

 code generation, Dune, PDE, DG methods, HPC, SIMD vectorization, DSL, UFL

 The easiest way to spot me is to look out for someone carrying a frisbee around. If you see me and want to improve your throwing skills just come and ask ;). Playing ultimate (frisbee) is one of my main hobbies. Besides that I enjoy bouldering, watercolor sketching, hicking, board games, traveling and other things.

 If you have ideas for the HGS feel free to talk to me or the other fellow speakers. I wish you all the best!

Reena Sen

Hallo zusammen!

I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. under Prof. Dr. Andreas Dreuw in the field of Theoretical and Computational chemistry. Traveled my way from India in 2017, a great opportunity brought me to this lovely city of Heidelberg. I am mainly working on development and application of solvation models for molecular systems in their excited states through the electronic structure theory. The motto is to understand the interaction of molecules with light as well as matter as they are placed in different media. Before this, I did my masters in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Trivandrum, India.

I am thrilled to be one amongst the three fellows' speakers. Being myself from the land of mixed cultures and diversities, it's my most natural intent on bringing a variety of ventures for all of us in contributing to the cause.

Feel free to contact me for any ideas that you might want to share and execute through the HGS MathComp platform — looking forward to a lot of activities that we have for you and a great year ahead!

Babak Loghmani

Hi everyone!

I am a PhD student in Systems Biology. I work with fancy in silico organisms (bacteria) and try to make the virtual world a better place to live for them. As their real analogues can harm us by a variety of infections, the main goal of my PhD is to find new drug targets in their metabolic networks to overcome the trend of multi-resistance. I also put some effort to   a deep analysis of fundamental concepts and methods like the solution space of genome-scale metabolic models, FBA and dynamic FBA, to expand our perception of their properties and develop their capabilities.

As listening to music is more than just a hobby to me, I mention watching and playing football as leisure time activities. I also enjoy bouldering a lot. Whenever possible, I go to a short or long trip, and it’s just such a joy! I can also serve you various dishes, cooking is always a pleasure.

I am looking forward to meet you all and hear your ideas for having a good time together in HGS!



Group Photo

From left to right: Katharina, Florian, Anna Lena, Aaron

Katharina Anders

Hi there! 

I am in the first year of my PhD in 3D geoinformatics in the group of Bernhard Höfle, where I work on developing methods for autonomous observation of dynamic landscapes using time series of 3D geodata acquired by terrestrial laser scanning. Coming from geography, I am particularly interested in the natural processes that shape our Earth's surface and form the landscapes we experience all over the globe. 

Luckily, I love spending time outdoors and - be it for research or leisure - seize every opportunity for traveling, preferably to the high mountains and remote regions. 

As a speaker, I'd like to ensure fellows have an ongoing platform for getting in contact and contribute to fostering the exchange among fellows. You're always welcome to contact me with ideas or suggestions as well as any issues!

Florian Franz

Anna Lena Kleesattel

Hi everyone, 

I  am doing my PhD in the Optimization, Robotics & Biomechanics group (ORB) and I am working on transtibial amputee sprinting and jumping motions using modeling and optimal control methods.  Apart from work, I love dancing, reading and baking cakes - and eating them as well! :-) 

As a fellow speaker I hope that we will will organize interesting seminars and events. Let us know if you have suggestions for activities or seminars!

Aaron Pattee

Hi everyone!

I am a second year PhD candidate from the Institute for European Art History and the IWR. My project concerns the investigation of six castles in the vicinity of Kaiserslautern, Germany using digital methodologies including laserscanning, photogrammetry, network analyses in graph-databases, and GIS (Geographical Information Systems).  The purpose is to identify the design and construction period of architectural elements of the six sites that are all currently ruins. Besides working, I like to ride my bike, go hiking, and travel.  I look forward to meeting all of you and organizing this year's fellows meetings!


Group Photo

Karsten Krispin (Red Shirt)


I'm doing my PhD at the HCI/IWR in the Groundtruth and Performance Analysis Group under the supervision of Bernd Jaehne. Here I work on automatisms to create real-world acquired reference data for testing and benchmarking of computer vision algorithmns. Coming from a physics background I also put strong emphasis on measurement uncertainty and it's correct propagation into our results.

Networking is a vital part of the PhD time. As a fellow speaker, I want to give opportunities for PhD candiates to exchange and have a vivid time.

For me personally, water is as essential as for a fish. When I'm not at the office, you can very likely find me swimming in a pool, a lake or the Neckar. But I enjoy landsmen sports as well. Challange me, if you can! ;)

Simon Dörsam (Green Shirt)

Hi Folks,

I only started speaking, as I was already three years old. To this day, I also try to use few words to get a point across.

This should also be true for the information of our events. We want to keep the good organization of the former speakers. Additionally, we want to create new social events to get to know you better:)

Finally, I want to introduce myself. As an applied mathematician I try to improve the medical research. In my Master I worked on the topic of neural networks and now in my PhD I cooperate with the ophthalmology. Because I was born in Heidelberg, the environment, social projects and sports clubs here in the area are precious to me. But the most important thing about me is: I love to smile=)




Angelika Klein (Blue Shirt)

Hi everyone,

I'm in the second year of my PhD in the Image Processing group of Bernd Jähne. I investigate the gas transfer between air and water using a set of camera systems and developing suitable evaluation algorithms. My lab is easily to spot from the Mathematikon. It is the cylindrical add-on of the neighboring building INF 299. It may give you an estimate of the circumference of our wind wave facility Aeolotron of about 10 m.

In my free time I like do go bicycling and enjoy the opportunities to choose between the Upper Rhine Plain and the Odenwald for my activities. I also like to meet people and play some board games.

As a fellow speaker, I want to continue the social activity events of the former speakers and if you have any suggestions feel free to contact us.


Marcel Gutsche

Hi folks, 

I'm in the second year of my PhD in the Image Processing and Modeling group. I investigate properties of light fields and develop new algorithms for extracting geometry and BRDF.

In my spare time I love playing the guitar, watching ridiculous action movies, hiking, bicycling and enjoying the warmth of a cozy fire at a beach. I've grown up in Cologne and albeit detesting carnival, I have a lot of the Rhenish mindset.    

So if you have any suggestion how to improve things here at HGS just let me know! 

Yue Hu

Hi everyone,

I am doing my PhD in the Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics group (ORB), and my main topic is "Modeling and Optimal Control of Compliant Robots". My work is mainly focused on analyzing compliance properties in human locomotion and humanoid robots walking by means of model based optimal control.

I have an engineering background, with a bachelor degree in Electronics Engineering from Italy and a master in Advanced Robotics from Italy and France.

I am Italian of Chinese origins, and I like having two very different cultural backgrounds. I like travelling, visiting new places, and I enjoy cooking. =)

As a fellow speaker I hope we will be able to organize interesting events through the year!

Asha Roberts

Hey hey!

I have just started the second year of my PhD in the Comba group (inorganic chemistry) working in the area of single molecule magnets. Basically, I am trying to make really small magnets.

I grew up in Queensland, Australia and completed dual bachelor and honours degrees (science/law) at the University of Queensland. After spending 7 years of my life at UQ, I thought it was high time for a change of scenery. I love the size and convenience of Heidelberg, although I do feel that the weather could do with some improvements!

During my first year as a foreigner here in Heidelberg, I found the social events provided by the HGS really helpful for meeting new people and settling in. Therefore, as a fellow speaker I am very interested in offering more social activities to encourage more interaction between the fellows and to help welcome new students to Heidelberg. All suggestions are welcome!




Malin Schemschat

At the Reschensee


I'm in the second year of my PhD also in the group of Katja Mombaur (optimzation in Robotics and Biomechanics). My topic is the analysis of human push recovery motions using optimization strategies.

Grown up in the north of Germany I still love lakes and the sea, but I also learned to enjoy the hilly countryside near Heidelberg. I'm spending my free time running or cycling in the woods, skating in the flat countryside or visiting friends.

During my studies I moved between different cities and learned how hard it can be to get to know people in the new environment. As a speaker I would like to improve the possibilities of exchange between the fellows by organizing events and I'm happy to bring through our and your ideas in the HGS committees. So let us know, if there is a topic you have concerns about.


Lilli Bergner

Hey there! I'm currently in the second year of my PhD in Christian Kirches' research group 'Optimization of Uncertain Systems', and that title is also the topic of my Phd (and life ;-)). 

I have studied at universities in three different countries and know how hard it can be to be new in some environment. Thus as a fellows' speaker, I'd like to ensure that the HGS graduate school provides a platform to meet PhD students also outside your work group or corridor, to learn from each other and exchange ideas, whether for fun or for work.

If I am not working hard on this task or on my PhD, I very much enjoy sports such as bouldering and alpin hiking, and dancing.



Stefanie Bäppler

Beijing 2015


I'm doing my PhD in the group of Prof. Andreas Dreuw in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. My main interest is to develop new analysis tools to understand how molecules react being exposed to light.

I studied Chemistry in Heidelberg and specialized on Computational Chemistry during my master. Besides the university buisness, I appreciate hiking and bouldering as well as running. And I also enjoy creative crafts :)

As HGS fellows' speaker I like to promote the social activities and we are always happy recieving your input!

Michael Herbst

Hi all,

similar to Steffi I am also doing my PhD in Theoretical Chemistry with Prof. Andreas Dreuw, but my PhD is more concerned with finding new ways how to solve the very basic equations governing the electronic structure of matter.

Before coming to Heidelberg to do my PhD, I studied Natural Science in Cambridge, specialising in Theoretical Chemistry in my last year of studies.

In my leasure time I enjoy playing the trumpet in a small Jazz Combo or start tinkering around with all sorts of LinuX devices around my home. I am less of the sporty type, but I nevertheless often relex on long walks with the great Bergstaße scenery in the back.

As Fellow's Speakers I would like to influence the direction in which the HGS develops as a graduate school in the next few years. We are looking at quite a few important changes like the way the HGS is funded and the move to the Mathematikon. If you have anything that you want us to mention in your name in one of the HGS committees, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.


Katharina Beuke

Hey there! I'm currently doing my PhD with Ursula Kummer. Where I'm working on an ODE-based model of NFkappaB signalling in hepatocytes - which translates into: a model of how a liver cell processes a certain piece of information. :)

I am from Rutesheim a small town close to Stuttgart. I studied Molecular Life Science at the University of Lübeck (BSc) and went on to do my master's degree here at the University Heidelberg in Molecular Biosciences with Systems Biology as my major, before I started my PhD.

Besides loving to learn new things especially about molecular biology I enjoy reading, running, cooking, and skiing.

As a fellows' speaker I would like to ensure that we all have the platform we need to get into contact and have the opportunity for exchange with other each other.

Dominic Edelmann

Hey there!

I am working in the statistics group at the Institute for Applied Mathematics, where I am doing my PhD with Rainer Dahlhaus. My  main research interests are inference for Gaussian graphical models, statistics for queueing systems and alternative dependence measures (particularly distance correlation).

Apart from mathematics and statistics, I am interested in a lot of other fields. In particular I love reading about psychology and social sciences. Moreover I enjoy cooking with my friends and family, watching great movies and hiking in the nearby woods.
Finally I do quite a lot of sports, such as running, skiing or soccer.

My goal as a fellows' speaker is to help improving the course system in the HGS, such that students can find seminars and lectures, which really help them with her PhD and/or later career.

Manuel Kudruss

Hey there! I am a doctoral student in the OptimUS group of Christian Kirches and the ORB group of Katja Mombaur, where I will improve the walking capabilites of humanoid robots with methods of nonlinear model predictive control.

Apart from my work, I enjoy having a walk in the nature, especially in the nice landscape of the Black Forest or abroad in my vacation. Besides that, I also love cooking and eating delicous food, hanging out with my friends and going to the cinema or the theatre.

Another passion of mine is martial arts, where karate has become very important for me. However, I have not yet stopped trying out new things, like taekwondo or jiu-jitsu, to broaden my horizon.

The new university state law (Landeshochschulgesetz) shall be passed in 2014. As a speaker of the graduate school, I hope that an own status for doctoral students will be established in Heidelberg and I will work out how the fellows can optimally participate in a doctorand convent.


Jan Mewes

Summer '13 on the Alster in Hamburg

Hey there!

I'm currently doing my Ph.D. with Andreas Dreuw in theoretical and computational chemistry. Recently, I started to blog about my research, so if you are interested:

Having grown up in Frankfurt/M, I studied chemistry at the local Goethe-Universitaet where I finished my Master in late 2010. For my Ph.D. I followed Andreas Dreuw to Heidelberg in early 2011.

Besides science, I enjoy cooking as much as eating and therefore also sports :D I love all kinds of music but in particular dark and clubbing electronic stuff. I'm also quite interested in politics. After all, my biggest joy is sharing all of the above with the people I love.

As a fellows' speaker, I plan on expanding the fellows seminar to include more general topics that are still somehow connected to our research but also receive public attention (e.g. renewables, greenhouse gases, nuclear energy).

Another idea is to accelerate the acclimatization of freshmen by setting up some kind of introductory course in the framework of the fellows seminar. 

So lang!


Rahul Nair

Originally from Mumbai, India, I moved to Germany in 1994.

In 2010 I graduated in physics at the University of Heidelberg. 

Currently I am working on my PhD thesis at the   HCI. Have a look at my project page over   here.

Apart from computer vision and machine learning I also enjoy various outdoor sporting activities such as running in the halfmarathon team, climbing and beach volleyball.

Katie Fletcher

I'm from Boston, Massachusetts and studied at Mount Holyoke College (AB) and Universität Hamburg (MSc) before moving to Heidelberg to start my PhD.

Aside from my love of chemistry, I also enjoy running, reading, traveling, and learning languages. 

Caroline Krauter

In my free time I like to read, play the flute or the piano, listen to music and to go jogging. Additionally, I am learning French at the moment.

When it comes to my holidays, I especially enjoy to go sailing, skiing or hiking

Simon Lenz

The limited free time that I have I typically spend on reading, listening to music (mainly Rock and Heavy Metal), and playing soccer.

I like to go hiking, either in the nearby Black Forest or, during my vacations, in Scotland and Ireland.

Occasionally, I go back to my home town to visit family and old friends and to support Borussia Dortmund live in the best stadium of the world.