MiS Profile

Bernd Sturmfels

Research Interests

  • Algebraic Geometry
  • Combinatorics
  • Commutative Algebra
  • Algebraic Statistics
  • Convex Optimization
  • Computational Biology


Students going places

News from 2021: Maddie Weinstein will be an NSF postdoc at Stanford University.

Back in 2020, we had these updates: On postdocs: Madeline Brandt will go to Brown University, Lynn Chua will go to Caltech, Paul Görlach will be at TU Chemnitz, Orlando Marigliano will move to KTH Stockholm, and Mahsa Sayyari will join Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Anna Seigal will transition to the Society of Fellows at Harvard. On permanent positions: Jose Rodriguez is settling at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Joe Kileel has signed up with the University of Texas, Austin. Cynthia Vinzant will start in 2021 at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Adventures in Mentoring

I wrote this piece for the Early Career Section of the Notices of the AMS.

Excellence through Diversity

This article appeared in the newsletter of the European Women in Mathematics (EWM).

Current PhD Students & Postdocs


Selected Publications

Recent Publications


Spring of 2023Math 270: Metric Algebraic Geometry


What is Algebraic Geometry?

This is a webinar, aimed at a general audience, in the NAS series Mathematical Frontiers. Mark Green hosts short presentations by Ravi Vakil and me.

Math 10A: Methods of Mathematics (Fall 2012) Math 10B: Methods of Mathematics (Spring 2015) Math 16A: Analytic Geometry and Calculus (Spring 1999) Math 16A: Analytic Geometry and Calculus (Fall 2005)
Math 16B: Analytic Geometry and Calculus (Fall 2001) Math 55: Discrete Mathematics (Fall 1999) Math 55: Discrete Mathematics (Spring 2009) Math 55: Discrete Mathematics (Spring 2010)
Math 55: Discrete Mathematics (Spring 2012) Math 113: Introduction to Abstract Algebra (Summer 2006) Math 113: Introduction to Abstract Algebra (Summer 2010) Math 127: Mathematics of Computational Biology (Spring 2007)
Math 127: Mathematics of Computational Biology (Spring 2006) Math 143: Elementary Algebraic Geometry (Fall 2015) Math 170: Introduction to Optimization (Fall 2001) Math 170: Introduction to Optimization (Spring 2017)
Math 191: Solving Systems of Polynomial Equations (Spring 1999) Math 191: Nonlinear Algebra (Spring 2020) Math 239/Stat 260: Algebraic Statistics (Fall 2008) Math 249: Combinatorial Commutative Algebra (Fall 2004)
Math 249: Combinatorial Commutative Algebra (Fall 2012) Math 250B: Commutative Algebra (Spring 2006) Math 255: Algebraic Curves (Fall 2011) Math 256A: Algebraic Geometry (Fall 1999)
Math 255: Algebraic Curves (Spring 2019) Math 256B: Algebraic Geometry: Toric Varieties (Spring 2000) Math 270: Geometric and Topological Combinatorics (Fall 2017) Math 270: Gröbner Bases and Convex Polytopes (Spring 2022)
Math 274: Combinatorial Commutative Algebra (Fall 2002) Math 274: Tropical Geometry (Spring 2009) Math 274: Tropical Geometry (Spring 2016) Math 274: Tropical Geometry (Spring 2021)
Math 275: Geometry of Convex Optimization (Fall 2010) Math 275: Introduction to Non-Linear Algebra (Spring 2014)

Relevant Content


Bernd Sturmfels received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and the Technische Universität Darmstadt in 1987, and an honorary doctorate from the Goethe University Frankfurt in 2015. After postdoctoral years in Minneapolis and Linz, he taught at Cornell University before joining UC Berkeley in 1995 as Professor of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. Since 2017 he has been Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig. In 2018 he became an honorary professor at the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Leipzig. His awards include a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, a Humboldt Senior Research Prize, the SIAM von Neumann Lecturership, the Sarlo Distinguished Mentoring Award, and the George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics. He is a Fellow of the AMS and SIAM and a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2022 he spoke at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Sturmfels has supervised 60 doctoral students and numerous postdoctoral researchers, and he has authored 11 books and 300 research articles in combinatorics, commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, and their applications in fields such as statistics, optimization, and computational biology.