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Prof. Dr.

Wolfgang Dahmen

Year of election: 2009
Section: Mathematics
City: Columbia, South Carolina
Country: USA
CV Wolfgang Dahmen - PDF (Deutsch)


Wolfgang Dahmen is distinguished for his foundational contributions to Constructive Approximation Theory, in particular regarding the development of Multivariate Splines and their applications to Computer Aided Geometric Design. These works were carried out mainly at the University of Bielefeld (1981-1987) and at the Free University of Berlin (1987-1992).

After moving to RWTH Aachen in 1992 he has been devoting his efforts mainly to the development of theoretical foundations of adaptive solution methods for operator equations and variational problems. The results on complexity and convergence estimates for new wavelet based adaptive methods, obtained in collaboration with A. Cohen and R. DeVore, were the first of their kind and have triggered numerous subsequent developments. In his position as a Director of International Research at the Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute at the University of South Carolina, USA, he has focused mainly on new concepts for imaging, mathematical learning theory and compressed sensing.

Parallel to these primarily theoretical developments he has been engaged in intense collaborations with colleagues from engineering sciences at RWTH Aachen reflected by numerous funded interdisciplinary research projects. These activities have certainly coined the expansion and position of mathematics and of numerical analysis and scientific computing, in particular, in- and outside RWTH Aachen in a significant way. He has contributed substantially to the development of a new engineering curriculum that aims at strongly combining expertise in mathematics, computer science and engineering. Moreover, he has played a pivotal role in establishing the Graduate School AICES in the context of the Excellence Initiative.


  • seit 2017 Williams-Hedberg-Hedberg-Endowed Chair of Mathematics, University of South Carolina, USA
  • seit 2005 Internationaler Forschungsdirektor am Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute an der University of South Carolina, USA
  • 1992-2017 Professor (C4) für Mathematik, RWTH Aachen
  • 1987-1992 Professor (C4) für Mathematik, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 1981-1987 Professor (C3) für Mathematik, Universität Bielefeld
  • 1981 Habilitation (Mathematik), Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Bonn
  • 1979-1980 Forschungsstipendium, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, USA
  • 1976-1981 Wissenschaftlicher Assistent am Institut für Angewandte Mathematik, Universität Bonn
  • 1976 Dr. rer. nat., Fak. für Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften, RWTH Aachen
  • 1974-1976 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Mathematik A, RWTH Aachen
  • 1974 Diplom Mathematik (Nebenfach Physik), Fak. für Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften, RWTH Aachen


  • seit 2008 Vorsitzender des Auswahlkomitees des Gauß-Preises 2010 der Internationalen Mathematikervereinigung
  • seit 2008 Mitglied des Advisory Boards der Fakultät für Mathematik an der University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • seit 2007 Mitglied des Advisory Boards des Exzellenclusters „Future Ocean“ der CAU Kiel
  • seit 2006 Ausschussmitglied des Panel PE1 „Mathematical Foundations“, Europäischer Wissenschaftsrat
  • seit 2005 Senatsmitglied der DFG
  • 2004 Ausschussmitglied des Panel 16, ICM06, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
  • 2003 Mitglied des Auswahlkomitees für die Cantor-Medaille
  • 2000-2005 DFG-Gutachter für Mathematik
  • 1994-2009 Wissenschaftlicher Beirat des Zentrums für Interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZIF), Bielefeld

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2018 Robert-Piloty-Preis
  • 2002 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis
  • seit 2001 ISI Highly Cited
  • seit 2001 Mitglied der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
  • seit 1995 Exekutivkomitee der FoCM (Foundations of Computational Mathematics)
  • 1979/80 IBM Postdoktoranden-Stipendium
  • 1972-1974 Stipendiat der Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Springorum Gedenkmünze und Borchers Plakette der RWTH Aachen




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