(My views on the Christian way of life;
Gedanken zum Leben als Christ;
My research interests; My books; Mathematics; Other Science;
Religion; Personal; Austria and Vienna; Webmail; Other)
Office: Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1, Room 04.136
Phone:+431 4277 50661
I am a mathematician and physicist at the University of Vienna, holding since 1994 the chair for computational mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics.
Two years after my Ph.D., my formerly atheistic world view changed and I became a Christian. I got convinced that there is a very powerful God who created the Universe, who controls what appears to us to be chance, and who is interested in each of us individually. I understood (with Galilei, and later Newton and Maxwell) that God had written the book of nature in the language of mathematics. As a result of these insights, one of my main goals in life became to understand all the important applications of mathematics in other fields of science, engineering, and ordinary life. It is a challenge that keeps me learning all my life.
My faith and my understanding of God is the central motivation and moving power for my strong commitment to science. I always considered my faith as an integral part of my scientific work. From time to time, this has caused defamatory opposition from anti-religious quarters that began shortly after I came to Vienna, initially from the student organization Roter Vektor. (See also their most recent defamation campaign against me, dated June 13, 2022.)
I had addressed this already in my inaugural lecture in April 1995, where I had commented their slandering by citing the following lines from the Cherubinic Wanderer by Angelus Silesius. (Angelus Silesius: Sämtliche poetische Werke in drei Bänden. Band 3, München 1952, S. 36.)
Ich weiß, die Nachtigall
straft nicht des Kuckucks Ton;
Du aber, sing ich nicht wie du,
sprichst meinem Hohn.
(My rendering in English:)
I know the nightingale does not
find fault with cuckoo's song;
But you, if I don't sing like you,
mock mine as being wrong.
As a consequence, I diligently collected in my spare time material on the relation of science and faith, and published it since 1997 on my then newly created university website together with essays on various topics. In the over 25 years of their existence, these well-researched pages have enjoyed steady international interest, resulting till today in a very high visibility. For example, on the search machine Bing, the query 'science and faith' placed my web site on position 4 of about 1.5 million results. (Checked on April 16, 2022. Total numbers fluctuate from day to day by up to about 10%; the ranking itself is fairly stable.)
The anti-religious opposition against me peaked again recently when as a result of (to me anonymous) complaints against the religious part of this website, the rectorate blocked my complete professional web site. Without prior warning, the rectorate informed me of this act on April 3, 2022, saying that the blocking will be lifted under the condition that I remove two items from my entrance page. These are further discussed below.
Although this action of the rectorate is in my opinion an illegal act of religious discrimination I modified the entrance page of my university web site and removed the incriminated passages.
However, before doing so, I moved the original entrance page to my own web domain and modified it to show that what I wrote does not violate the web site regulations of the university - at least not more than numerous other webpages that violate these, in their literal reading extremely restrictive, regulations.
It is this modified version that you are now reading.
Since being at the University of Vienna, my main scientific research is in the fields of optimization, mathematical software, and data science. This includes the development of powerful software for general optimization problems and of techniques for artificial intelligence. In addition, I have strong interests in computational quantum physics and its conceptual foundations.
God excels in loving those He wants to love.
He excels in forming those He wants to form.
He excels in trying those He wants to try.
He excels in testing those He wants to test.
God excels in destroying what He wants to destroy.
He excels in creating what He wants to create.
God is perfect in everything.
All powers are His,
From the dawn of history into all eternity.
This is why it is safe to be in His arms,
Like small children loved by their mother.
This poem is one of the items explicitly incriminated by the rectorate. In this poem I had created an artistic expression of the abstract concept of the omnipotence of God in terms of a spectrum of concrete instances where God appears as the 'solution' of an optimization problem (excellence, perfection).
It would be impossible for me to bear the responsibility for developing even better optimization software without strongly believing - like the lamenting person in the Book of Lamentations - that God is omnipotent, or at least powerful enough to be in control of and hence ultimately responsible for all wars.
Moreover, the Book of Lamentations is exemplary in that, in spite of the manifest deep suffering, hatred of the enemy is almost completely absent. In contrast, European responses to a perceived enemy today often resemble more a witch-hunt than a constructive response.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say
all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the
same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Jesus, according to Matthew 5:11-12)
(My research interests;
Religion; Personal; Austria and Vienna; Webmail; Other)