Communicator Award 2021 for Jürgen Richter-Gebert

Prize for Science Communication 2021

8 July 2021
Jürgen Richter-Gebert explains the structure of a sculpture made of wire coat hangers.

Professor Jürgen Richter-Gebert at the mathematics exhibition ix-quadrat on the research campus in Garching.

Interactive exhibitions or attractive digital offerings for children in the Corona lockdown: Jürgen Richter-Gebert wants to make abstract mathematical content visible, audible and comprehensible. For his outstanding science communication, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Donors' Association award the Communicator Award 2021 to the TUM Professor of Geometry and Visualization.

The award ceremony took place on July 7, 2021, as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Donors' Association and the German Research Foundation. See the video portrait shown there (in German):

Communicator Award 2021

The Communicator Award, worth 50,000 euros, has been awarded since 2000 and is considered the most important prize of its kind in Germany. It honors researchers who are particularly creative in the communication of science.

The jury praised Prof. Richter-Gebert for his innovative and multifaceted efforts over the past 20 years to bring the power and beauty of mathematics to life. He has developed a variety of formats for this purpose. With boundless energy and imagination, Richter-Gebert is constantly creating new approaches to mathematics in different social and aesthetic contexts. The jury emphasized that his work motivates his audience to experiment, create and explore on their own.

Offers for children in the Corona lockdown

In addition, Richter-Gebert is always on the lookout for chances in which to illustrate how mathematics can be effectively understood in everyday life. He demonstrated this impressively in 2020 whilst using the pandemic as an opportunity: Early on, he developed digital offerings for families in the lockdown to give children access to mathematics and physics in a playful and low-threshold way. But he also took the transition to digital teaching as an opportunity to develop high-quality teaching formats that are now publicly available and will have a broad and lasting impact beyond the pandemic.

Successful digital formats

Richter-Gebert has been Professor of Geometry and Visualization at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2001. He has received several awards, including the Ars Legendi Prize of the Stifterverband for excellent university teaching. Richter-Gebert is the founder and director of the mathematics exhibition ix-quadrat at TUM, co-author of the mathematics visualization program Cinderella, and runs the Internet portal Mathe-Vital. In addition, he is significantly involved in the traveling exhibition Imaginary. The digital formats he has developed, such as the free app TUM interactive on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the TUM, have been downloaded thousands of times by people from all around the world.

Jürgen Richter-Gebert talks about mathematics in everyday life

What is enchanting and beautiful about mathematics? Professor Richter-Gebert reveals this in an interview with IQ - MAGAZIN on the BR podcast (in German).