21 December 2023

Semper Ardens grants to Bladt & Osajda

Research grants

Martin Bladt and Damian Osajda receive The Carlsberg Foundation’s Semper Ardens Accelerate grant. Bladt will find statistical tools that can provide more accurate risk assessment for catastrophic events. Osajda will research pure maths: geometric group theory and non-positive curvature.

Martin Bladt and Damian Osajda

The three-year Semper Ardens Accelerate grants aim to help young tenured researchers at the associate professor level stand on their own two feet by consolidating an independent research group.

Emerging risks

Associate Professor Martin Bladt receives DKK 4,75 million for his project “Statistical Modeling of Emerging Risks with Missing and Censored Data”. The project is described like this:

“What: The project addresses statistical modelling of emerging risks, especially catastrophic events, with a focus on missing and censored data. It aims to bridge the knowledge gap in extreme value theory when observations are incomplete through mathematical statistics and machine-learning methods, ensuring accurate risk estimation.

Why: Emerging risks, like catastrophic events, demand precise risk estimation. Current methods fall short when it comes to dealing with extreme events that have missing or censored data. This research aims to leverage mathematical expertise to develop unified statistical and computational tools that can provide more accurate risk assessment in such scenarios.

How: The project will develop a unified mathematical framework for extreme events with censored data, create efficient computational methods, and address challenges posed by missing data. These methods will then be applied to complex and large datasets associated with emerging risks, ensuring their practical relevance and effectiveness.”

Martin BladtSince February 2023, Martin Bladt has been employed as an associate professor at the department’s section for Insurance and Economics, where he works at the interface between statistics, applied probability and actuarial mathematics. Martin was born in Aalborg, Denmark, and holds a bachelor's degree from The National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master's degree from the University of Copenhagen. He completed his PhD in 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Martin Bladt will hire two additional PhD students and one postdoc to his research group (or one PhD student and two postdocs).

Pure mathematics

Associate Professor Damian Osajda receives DKK 4,9 million for his research project “Groups and Nonpositive Curvature”. He explains 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 patterns groups are 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 our understanding of the Universe, both in macro- and micro-scale. In the first case, the symmetries of time and space 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 has its origins in a very classical mathematical field of “Riemannian geometry” seemingly far from the very algebraic context of groups.”

Damian OsajdaDamian 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 degree 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 plans to hire two PhD students and one post-doc, probably this Fall.

Semper Ardens

Semper Ardens means “passionate, always burning” – a quality found in abundance among the researchers that the Carlsberg Foundation supports with its Semper Ardens grants. DKK 120 million are going to 25 newly appointed associate professors through the Semper Ardens Accelerate programme.

All applications for grants under the Semper Ardens Accelerate programme have been reviewed by external experts before being assessed by the Carlsberg Foundation’s board, which takes the final decision on grant awards.

The Carlsberg Foundation’s autumn call 2023 attracted a total of 827 applications. The success rate for female applicants is 24.6 percent and 22.1 percent for male applicants. The total amount of research funding approved by the Carlsberg Foundation in 2023 is DKK 620 million.