The History of WIAS

The Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (From 1992 to present)

The institute was established in 1992 per reccommendation of the German Council of Science with the following goals:

  1. Research in Applied Mathematics is becoming more and more an important basis for the development of High Technologies. Working in the necessary depth and intensity requires an appropriate environment in a non-university research institute.
  2. The Applied Mathematics in Germany should be strengthened as it is practiced in the US with the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and in France with the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA).
  3. The high qualified research groups of the Karl Weierstrass Institute for Mathematics contribute to an excellent starting position of the institute.

Facts and Highlights

  • January 1st, 1992: The Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (IAAS) is founded as scientifically independent part of the Research Association Berlin (Head of the Founding Committee: K.-H. Hoffmann).
  • 1993: Award of Beckurts Price to Herbert Gajewski.
  • 1994: The institute is renamed Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS)
  • 1994: WIAS becomes host of the German Mathematical Society (DMV)
  • 1997: The institue is evaluated by the German Council of Science
  • 1998: International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin, WIAS is coorganizer (including J. Sprekels as Treasurer)
  • 2002: Start of the DFG Research Center MATHEON as a joint initiative of TU, FU, HU, ZIB and WIAS
  • 2003: The institute is evaluated by the Leibniz-Senate
  • 2008: Innovation Award Berlin-Brandenburg to KRISTMAG consortium (with WIAS)
  • 2010: The institute is evaluated by the Leibniz-Senate
  • 2010: ERC Advanced Grant for Prof. Dr. Alexander Mielke (Project Analysis of Multiscale Systems Driven by Functionals)
  • January 2011: The Secretariat of the International Mathematical Union is permanently based in Berlin at WIAS. Prof. Dr. Alexander Mielke becomes Head of the Secretariat and IMU Treasurer
  • 2012: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Spokoiny receives a Mega Grant of the Russian government
  • 2012: The institute is expanding and rents new offices at Hausvogteiplatz 11a
  • 2014: Start of the Einstein Center for Mathematics (ECMath) with partners in Berlin
  • 2015: Commemorative event on the occasion of Karl Weierstrass' 200th birthday
  • 2017: The institute is evaluated by the senate of the Leibniz Association
  • 2019: Launch of the Cluster of Excellence MATH+ in the framework of the German National Excellence Strategy together with partners in Berlin

Head of the Institute

  • Prof. Dr. Herbert Gajewski (Acting Director until 09/1993)
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Sprekels (Acting Director 10/93-03/94, 04/94-04/15 Director)
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang König & Prof. Dr. Alexander Mielke (04/15-12/15 as authorized representatives of the Director)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hintermüller (from 01/2016)

Research Groups

Research Group Partial Differential Equations (until 2005: Partial Differential Equations and Variational Equations)


  • Prof. Dr. Herbert Gajewski (until 2004)
  • Dr. Rolf Hünlich (Acting Head, 2004)
  • Prof. Dr. Alexander Mielke

Research Group Laser Dynamics (1999-2002: Dynamical Systems; until 1999: Dynamical Systems and Control Theory)


  • Dr. Klaus R. Schneider (until 2004)
  • Dr. Matthias Wolfrum (Acting Head, until 2005)
  • PD Dr. Uwe Bandelow

Research Group Numerical Mathematics and Scientific Computing


  • Prof. Dr. Peter Knabner (until 1993)
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich Grund (Acting Head, until 1994)
  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Kornhuber (until 1996)
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich Grund (Acting Head, until 2000)
  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Bänsch (until 2004)
  • Dr. Jürgen Fuhrmann (Acting Head, until 2009)
  • Prof. Dr. Volker John

Research Group Nonlinear Optimization and Inverse Problems (until 1999: Integral Equations and Pseudo-Differential Operators)


  • Prof. Dr. Siegfried Prößdorf (until 1998)
  • PD Dr. Johannes Elschner (Acting Head, until 1999)
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Schulz (until 2001)
  • PD Dr. Johannes Elschner (Acting Head, until 2003)
  • Prof. Dr. Dietmar Hömberg

Forschungsgruppe Interacting Random Systems


  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gärtner (until 1995)
  • Prof. Dr. Anton Bovier (until 2008)
  • PD Dr. Wolfgang Wagner (Acting Head, until 2009)
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang König

Research Group Stochastic Algorithms and Nonparametric Statistics


  • Prof. Dr. Michael Nussbaum (until 1999)
  • PD Dr. John Schoenmakers (Acting Head, until 2000)
  • Prof. Dr. Vladimir Spokoiny

Research Group Differentiable Dynamics und Ergodic Theory (until 1996)


  • Prof. Hans GŁnter Bothe (until 1996)

Research Group Thermodynamic Modeling and Analysis of Phase Transitions (established in 1996, 1996-2004: Continuum Mechanics)


  • Prof. Krzysztof Wilmanski (1996-2004)
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dreyer (2004-2016)
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Wagner (Acting Head)

Research Group Nonsmooth Variational Problems and Operator Equations (established in 2016)


  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hintermüller