We mourn the loss of our external scientific member Andreas Dress.

Published Feb 29, 2024

The Institute mourns the loss of its long-standing external scientific member and friend, Andreas Dress, who passed away on February 23, 2024.

Andreas Dress made fundamental contributions to algebra, geometry and their applications in the life sciences. A long time Professor at the University of Bielefeld, Dress also served as the founding director of the Max Planck Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai.

Following his early work in group theory and the structure of tilings, Dress became a leader at the interface of mathematics and evolutionary biology. He made groundbreaking contributions to the combinatorics of phylogenetic trees. This work also led to his discovery of valuated matroids, which are parametrized by a polyhedral space now known as the Dressian. A generation of scholars in matroid theory and tropical geometry was inspired by his research. Especially influential was his lecture "The Tree of Life and Other Affine Buildings”, which he presented at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1988.

Our thoughts are with his family, whom we wish for strength and confidence. We will honor Andreas Dress's memory.