16 December 2014

Additional grant to Sune Precht Reeh


Sune Precht Reeh, who is currently a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been awarded an extra Sapere Aude grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF). It makes it possible for him to expand his network among top scientists in USA and Canada.

The new Sapere Aude funding is awarded as an additional recognition to 40 young researchers, which during 2014 received postdoctoral grants from DFF. Now DFF invest additional 19 million DKR to increase their mobility and thus strengthen the internationalization of Danish research growth layer.

"A major ambition for DFF is to promote the mobility of researchers in Denmark. Especially younger researchers need a push to network and establish international collaboration that can give them a better foothold in a further research career. The Council hopes that the Sapere Aude grants will encourage researchers to travel and improve their skills", says DFF Chairman Peter Munk Christiansen.

These intentions are fully shared by Sune Precht Reeh. The original DFF scholarship allowed him a two-year postdoctoral stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has given him the opportunity to draw on the knowledge and experience from several researchers at MIT and Harvard.

Sune Precht Reeh

"The new grant will be used for a number of further research visits around the United States and Canada”, explains Sune. "Each stay will last about a month, and so far my plan to visit Peter May at the University of Chicago, Alejandro Adem at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), Søren Galatius at Stanford University, and Ian Hambleton at McMaster University (in Ontario). The idea is that the visits be held spread over my existing postdoctoral stay, which in turn will be expanded by an additional six months at MIT. "

A prime-number-perspective of symmetries

Sunes project is called "Fusion systems and spectra – a prime-number-perspective of symmetries and objects". (Or more scientifically: "Fusion system and Burnside rings in equivariant stable homotopy theory"). It is an extension of his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, UCPH, where he was associated with the Center for Symmetry and Deformation and its director Professor Jesper Grodal.

"My original interest in algebraic topology is dating back from my second year as a math student. I was at a lecture by Jesper Grodal on the subject - in The Danish Youth Association of Science - and I was seized by the interaction between several branches of mathematics: Tangible geometric objects such as spherical surfaces and bath rings that were then studied and classified with abstract algebra and group theory.

"My enthusiasm was only increased when I later began taking courses in the subject, and years later I even had Jesper as my PhD supervisor".

Today one of Sune’s hosts at MIT is Professor Haynes Miller, who Sune calls his "mathematical grandfather" - as Miller was PhD supervisor for Jesper Grodal.