The Max Planck Institute for Mathematics is one of the nearly ninety research institutes of the Max Planck Society. The institute was founded in 1980 by Prof. Friedrich Hirzebruch, who directed it until his retirement in 1995.
The institute is led by a board of directors consisting of Gerd Faltings, Dennis Gaitsgory, Peter Scholze and Peter Teichner. Peter Scholze is the current managing director. They are joined by Stavros Garoufalidis, Sergei Gukov, Stefan Müller, and Werner Nahm, as external scientific members and emeritus directors Werner Ballmann, Günter Harder, Yuri Manin and Don Zagier, as retired scientific members of the institute.
The institute is primarily a guest institute, with the guests being selected on basis of mathematical merit. The duration of the stay various greatly from one week (usually to work with a longer term visitor), to several years. A postdoc will usually stay for at least one year. There are also several group leaders, who can stay up to 7 years. Further, there is also a small PhD program, with usually about 20 PhD students.
The principal aim is to stimulate discussion and exchange of ideas within the mathematics community. In this also cooperation with the University of Bonn plays an important role. Visitors can for example teach at the University of Bonn.
Beyond the visiting program, there are usually several conferences or activities organized.
The working areas are: Algebraic Groups, Arithmetic Geometry, Number Theory, Representation Theory, Algebraic and Complex Geometry, Differential Geometry and Topology, Algebraic Topology, Global Analysis, Non-Commutative Geometry, Dynamical Systems and Mathematical Physics.
The research is supported by the library, the administration and the computer group.