History of WIAS

Previous Institutions

The Weierstrass Institute as we know it today was established on January 1st, 1992. Please find below a timeline of the progression starting from 1946 when it became part of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin. The previous history of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Brandenburg Society of Sciences, which had been founded by W.G. Leibniz in 1700, are not considered here.

  • 1946: The Research Institute for Mathematics (FfM) of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin is founded. (Director: Erhard Schmidt)
  • 1947: The journal Mathematische Nachrichten is founded. (Editor Erhard Schmidt)
  • 1950: The FfM is split into two sections: Mathematics and Editions (Director: Herrmann Ludwig Schmid) and Applied Mathematics (Director: Kurt Schröder)
  • 1959: The FfM ist split into two institutes: the Institute for Pure Mathematics and the Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (IAMM, Director: Kurt Schroeder)
    The following departments are established at IAMM: Data Center, Gas Dynamics, Marine and Hydrodynamics, Nonlinear Mechanics and Control, Laboratory for Photoelasticity, Solid Mechanics
  • 1960: The Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics is relocated from the Academy of Sciences in Berlin to Mohrenstr. 39. The automatic computers URAL 1 and ZRA 1 are installed.
  • 1967: The department of Mathematical Physics is transferred to the Institute of Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences in Potsdam.
  • 1968-72: As a result of changes in the GDR's university system the Department of Pure Mathematics and Institute of Applied Mathematics merge to the Central Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Academy of Sciences (ZIMM).
    Director: Kurt Schröder, 1972 Klaus Matthes
  • 1972: The German Academy of Sciences in Berlin becomes the Academy of Sciences of the GDR.
  • 1981: The Central Institute of Mathematics is founded (beside the Central Institute for Mechanics). (Director: Klaus Matthes)
  • 1985: The institute becomes Karl Weierstrass Institute for Mathematics (KWI) with the following divisions: Pure Mathematics, Analysis, Stochastics, Data Center.
  • 1990: Walter Romberg (head of department Scientific Information, Edition and Library) becomes member of the transitional government of the GDR (from March 1990 as the minister of finance). On May 18, 1990, together with Theo Waigel (Federal Minister of Finance of the FRG), he signs the Unification Treaty between the GDR and the FRG.
  • April 1990: Changes in the institute's management in consequence of the political transformations in Germany (Herbert Gajewski replaces Heinz Ahrens as the deputy director).
  • 1990: With the ratification of the Unification Treaty on October 3, academy and research institutes split. Until the end of the year, the institutes are run by the Federal States.
  • November 1991: The Institute is evaluated by the German Council of Science
  • January 1st, 1992: As a result of the evaluation the Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (IAAS) (later Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS)) is established.