The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences welcomes Wolfgang Herfort, a new visiting professor in the Department of Mathematics.
Herfort grew up near Vienna, Austria and attended TU Vienna where he studied mathematics and physics education. He received a PhD in mathematics from the TU Vienna in 1971. Following his doctoral work, Herfort began teaching at TU Vienna, where he has spent the majority of his career.
During his time at TU Vienna, Herfort led seminars on bifurcation and singularity theory and created lectures and tutorials designed to make mathematical theory more accessible for engineering students.
Through his research, Herfort has had the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues all over the world, in particular with Josip Seke and Winfried Auzinger at TU Vienna, Zvi Arad in Tel Aviv, Israel; Luis Ribes in Ottawa, Canada; and, Pavel Zalesskii in Brasília, Brazil. While advising a PhD student at TU Vienna, Herfort became acquainted with Greg Conner in the BYU Department of Mathematics. Their collaboration brought Herfort to BYU, where he is spending a year working with the BYU mathematics faculty and researching profinite simplicial sets and wild topology.
“There are questions I feel can be answered here,” he said.
While he is at BYU, Herfort and his wife, Anna, look forward to enjoying Utah’s beautiful landscapes and visiting national parks, such as Yellowstone, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. Other than the opportunities for outdoor activities, Herfort’s favorite part of Utah is the friendliness of the residents.
“In Europe it takes much longer to become comfortable with someone, but in Utah everyone is so open and friendly!” he said.
When he is not working on research, Herfort enjoys listening to classical music, reading, learning about history, hiking, and playing soccer.