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Interview with Klaus Kröncke

Published Jan 26, 2022
Klaus Kröncke

Hello Klaus, tell us a little bit about you, your academic background, where you come from, etc.?

I am a Mathematician. I was born and raised in Vienna, where I did my Diploma studies in Mathematics. I moved to Potsdam for my PhD, to Regensburg as a postdoc and then to Hamburg as a (non-tenured) assistant professor. After spending 11 years in Germany, I came to Stockholm this month.

Taking up a new position is a challenge on its own. How has your time as an associate professor been so far, any significant changes compared to your previous position?

Not many significant changes in the work itself, apart from the fact that it is permanent (which is a big relief). There are many things to do right now: Teaching, taking a course in higher education, and many administrative issues that come up naturally due to moving to another country. But I am doing quite well; my colleagues are very nice and helpful. Not so many are there, though, due to the pandemic.

Tell us about your research; what makes it important?

My research is about the geometry of space (and time), and a lot of my work lies in understanding the properties of solutions to the so-called Einstein equation. My research is purely theoretical, but I think it lies some ground to work that is mainly done by theoretical physicists who aim for nothing less than understanding the world as it is. We mathematicians give them the tools to work with, and some of our results about equations that come from physics may have a direct impact on their models (e.g. Some of their models may not be so useful due to bad mathematical properties.

Does your work have practical applications? If so, what would those be?

My work has no direct applications in everyday life. But Mathematics, in general, has many applications that can be seen everywhere.

What made you interested in your field?

In my childhood and youth, I was very much interested in astronomy. I was fascinated by the idea that the universe itself was curved and that especially black holes are strongly curved geometries. I was more interested in the pure geometric and mathematical aspect of this topic which led me more or less directly to my research.

Is it important for you to communicate your research to the world? If yes, why and how do you do that?

It definitely is, especially to raise the acceptance of science in public. And results in science yield progress in society. As a Mathematician, it is tough to communicate your results, but I already gave a talk for a general audience (about the geometry of space and time), and I gave a few courses in Mathematics in summer camps for students in high school and university.

What would be your message or advice to youngsters interested in pursuing scientific professions?

To choose a field of interest, is the most important thing of all; you should be enthusiastic about your work. Take some time to develop your interests; they may and will change in time. Be aware that you have to move from one place to another, but don't be afraid too much of that.