4 June 2024

Damian Osajda, professor


The Dean has appointed Damian Osajda as Professor of Mathematics at the Department for Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, from 1 June 2024.

Professor Damian Osajda

The department’s Deputy Head of Research, Mikael Rørdam, greets the appointment welcome:

“I am happy for Damian’s well-deserved promotion and to witness him establishing a lively research group in geometric group theory at the department.”

Damian Osajda has since September 2022 been employed as an associate professor at the department's section of Analysis & Quantum, with dual affiliation to the Algebra & Geometry section.

Damian is from Poland and obtained his PhD from the Department of Mathematics at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2004. Since then, he has held postdoc positions in Paris, Berkeley, Strasbourg, and Lille. He was a visiting researcher in Montreal and has been employed in Vienna and at the University of Wrocław and the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Damian's main area of research is Geometric Group Theory, with the main field of expertise being groups acting on spaces with some nonpositive curvature-like features.

Damian has received two of the most prestigious Polish mathematical awards: the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences Prize for outstanding scientific achievements in mathematics in 2020, and the Main Stefan Banach Prize of the Polish Mathematical Society in 2021.

Pure mathematics

In December 2023 Damian received The Carlsberg Foundation’s Semper Ardens Accelerate grant for his research project “Groups and Nonpositive Curvature”. The grant financed two students and one post-doc for his research group.

He explained the project like this:

“What: This research project is in pure mathematics. We will study “groups”. “Group” is a mathematical concept describing symmetries of the object, e.g. of a space, a graph, a polyhedron. It can be thought of as a pattern describing symmetries. Many such pattern groups have been known and studied already for a long time. We intend to give new insight into such classical groups and find new ones.

“Why: Symmetries are of fundamental importance in understanding the Universe, both in macro- and micro-scale. In the first case, time and space symmetries are responsible for basic conservation laws, the foundation of modern physics. At the micro level, symmetries of particles determine their chemical features, which e.g. lie at the root of intriguing properties of proteins, or viruses.

“How: Our approach to studying groups is via the Geometric Group Theory. It is a relatively new area of mathematics employing geometric methods to study groups. A fundamental tool for our approach to groups is “nonpositive curvature”. The notion originates in a very classical mathematical field of “Riemannian geometry” seemingly far from the very algebraic context of groups.”