Mathematical Research Institute of Oberwolfach

The Mathematical Research Institute of Oberwolfach (German: Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach) in Oberwolfach, Germany, was founded as the Reich Institute of Mathematics by mathematician Wilhelm Süss in 1944.

It organizes weekly workshops on diverse topics where mathematicians and scientists from all over the world come to do collaborative research.

The Institute is a member of the Leibniz Association, funded mainly by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and by the state of Baden-Württemberg. It also receives substantial funding from the Friends of Oberwolfach foundation, from the Oberwolfach Foundation and from numerous donors.

History Timeline

1944: September 1 : Foundation of the Mathematical Research Institute (MFO), located in the old castle

1959: June 17 : Foundation of the Gesellschaft für Mathematische Forschung e.V., the mathematical society running the MFO

1967: October 10 : Inauguration of the guest house of the MFO, a gift of the Volkswagen Foundation

1975: June 13 : Inauguration of the library and meetings building of the MFO, which replaced the old castle, also a gift of the Volkswagen Foundation

1989: May 26 : Inauguration of the extension of the guest building

1995: Establishment of the research programme "Research in Pairs"

2005: January 1 : The MFO becomes a member of the Leibniz Association

2007: Establishment of the post-doctoral programme "Oberwolfach Leibniz Fellows"

2007: May 5 : Inauguration of the library extension, a gift of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung and the Volkswagen Foundation

2005 – 2010: General restoration of the guest house and the library building


The iconic model of the Boy surface was installed in front of the Institute, as a gift from Mercedes-Benz on January 28, 1991.

The Boy Surface is named after Werner Boy who constructed the surface in his 1901 thesis, written under the direction of David Hilbert.


Oberwolfach Prize

The Oberwolfach Prize is awarded approximately every three years for excellent achievements in changing fields of mathematics to young European mathematicians not older than 35 years. It is financed by the Oberwolfach Foundation and awarded in cooperation with the institute.

Prize winners

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