CV & Bio

For a pdf version of my CV, click here. For a pdf version of my thesis, click here.

Short bio

Prof. Franca Hoffmann is an assistant Professor at Caltech and AIMS-Carnegie Research Chair in Data Science at Quantum Leap Africa, AIMS Rwanda. She was previously a Bonn Junior Fellow at University of Bonn (Germany). After completing her PhD at the Cambridge Centre for Analysis at University of Cambridge (UK) in 2017, she held the position of von Karman instructor at California Institute of Technology (US) from 2017 to 2020. Her research is focused on the applied mathematics/data analysis interface, driven by the need to provide rigorous mathematical foundations for modeling tools used in applications.

Positions & Roles

Bonn Junior Fellow (Junior Professor), Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität
[since September 2020] Have a look here for more details on my researchmy publication listmy teaching experiencetalks I have givenpast academic visits,conferences, workshops and summer schools I attendedpeople I work with, and some more projects I worked on.

  • Transdisciplinary Research Area “Modelling” (TRA1): member of the steering committee, for more info see here.
  • One World Seminar Series on the Mathematics of Machine Learning: online platform for research seminars, workshops and seasonal schools in theoretical machine learning. The focus of the series lies on theoretical advances in machine learning and deep learning. For more info, click here.

AIMS-Carnegie Research Chair in Data Science, Quantum Leap Africa (QLA), Rwanda
[Since October 2020] Activities include

  • Quantum Leap Africa (QLA): building a research group in data science together with our AIMS-Carnegie Junior Research Chair in Data Science, postdocs and students.
  • Doctoral Training Program in Data Science (DTP-DS): founded and conceptualized a new three-year doctoral program that is built on the understanding that modern approaches in data science require a combination of expertise spanning the areas of mathematics, statistics, computer science, and the applied sciences. For more info, click here. I’m currently serving as Program Director.
  • Data Science Frontiers: seminar series focused on both applied and theoretical aspects of data science with the aim to serve as a platform for the data science community in Rwanda and beyond. For more info, and to join our mailing list, click here.
  • AIMS Research Colloquium: monthly seminar series featuring high-profile speakers across the mathematical sciences, bringing together the AIMS community across the African continent. For a list of past speakers, see here.

Von Karman Instructor (Postdoctoral Scholar), Faculty, California Institute of Technology
Mentor: Andrew M. Stuart

PhD Student, University of Cambridge, UK
[2013-2017] Cambridge Centre for Analysis Doctoral Training Centre. Thesis co-supervised with Imperial College London, supervisors: José A. Carrillo and Clément Mouhot. For a pdf version of my thesis, click here.

Director and Trustee, Supporting African Mathematics Initiatives (SAMI)
[since 2015] Founded charitable company to advance education in mathematics for the public benefit. Activities include:

See SAMI’s website here

Founder of the Maths HelpDesk 
Founded inter-departmental collaboration platform to match researchers from across departments that are stuck on mathematical problems with mathematicians who have the required expertise. Launch event in Feb 2016 attracted more than 100 researchers from across departments, featured on the SIAM UKIE blog. Secured funding on university level, managing a core team of 5 to run the platform, matching incoming projects, integration of a new ticketing platform, development of a strategy plan for the academic year 2016-2017. For more information, see this article.



PhD in Applied Partial Differential Equations on Keller-Segel-Type Models and Kinetic Equations for Interacting Particles: Long-Time Asymptotic AnalysisCambridge Centre for Analysis Doctoral Training Centre, University of Cambridge, co-supervised with Imperial College London, supervisors: José A. Carrillo and Clément Mouhot, 2013-2017. 

MSci Mathematics with a Year in Europe, incorporating a BSC in Mathematics, Master Thesis on Bacterial Chemotaxis and Social Forces, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, supervisor: José A. Carrillo, completed June 2013.

Licence 3 Mathématique (ERASMUS Exchange), Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, 2011-2012. 

Abitur, Humboldt-Gymnasium Köln, Germany, completed June 2009.


REMARK: the content below applies to 2017 and earlier. For up-to-date information, please see my CV on the top of this page.

Awards & Prizes


  • Simons Visiting Professorship, Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach to participate in the Oberwolfach workshop “Classical and Quantum Mechanical Models of Many-Particle Systems” and to support a two week research stay at Université Paris-Dauphine following the conference. For more details, see here.


  • Mittag-Leffler Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant to participate in the special semester on “Interactions between Partial Differential Equations \& Functional Inequalities”, Mittag-Leffler Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement of Imperial College London, awarded to 6 out of 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across all disciplines. For an article on the Imperial College News about the award, click here.
  • 2nd Prize 3-Minute-Thesis Competition of Imperial College Mathematics Department, awarded amongst 184 maths PhD students, selected as finalist for the university-wide competition. Have a look here to see a 3 minute summary of some of my work presented to a non-mathematical audience at the competition finals.


  • Santander Mobility Award towards cost of 2 week visit to Prof. Eric Carlen at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, awarded by Santander on the basis of academic merit.
  • Award for Best Talk at Imperial SIAM Student Chapter Annual Conference, awarded amongst 10 speakers.
  • First Prize TEDxEuston Video Competition, TEDxEuston Conference “Vision to Reality”, London, UK.
  • Christ’s College Graduate Student Bursary, University of Cambridge, UK.


  • EPSRC Grant: Full 4-year PhD grant from the Cambridge Centre of Analysis (CCA), University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement of Imperial College London, awarded to 2 out of 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across all disciplines.
  • Tensor Society Mathematics Prizeawarded to 1 final year student in mathematics for excellence in applied mathematics.
  • Nomination for the SET award, Europe’s leading award for science and engineering undergraduates, nominated as 2 out of 705 Imperial College mathematics students.
  • Christ’s College Graduate Student Bursary, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Best Journalist Award, London International Model United Nations Conference, awarded to 1 member of the International Press Team at Europe’s biggest university level Model United Nations conference.


  • Torchbearer Olympic Games 2012, selected as 2 out of 15,000 students on behalf of the Olympic Committee to represent Imperial College London. To read how I got into carrying the Olympic Torch, have a look at my blogpost from 2012.


  • Ken Allen Prize for Academic Excellence, awarded to 5 out of 855 undergraduate and postgraduate students in mathematics for academic excellence.
  • Nomination for the Royal College of Science Association Prize, nominated as 1 out of 855 students for academic performance and contributions to the College community.
  • Erasmus Scholarship, monthly stipend for an exchange year at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France.


Professional Activities

  • Special Section Organiser on Particle Methods & Nonlocal PDEs at the American Mathematical Society Fall Western Sectional Meeting, Riverside, CA, US. For the conference website, click here. (11/2017)
  • President SIAM Student Chapter, Imperial College London: secured sponsorship from Imperial College Mathematics Department, industrial partners and SIAM, increased membership numbers by 80%, organised regular academic, industrial and social events (2015-2016).
  • Main Organiser Cohort Building Activities, pilot project to improve communication between maths PhD students, secured grant from Imperial College Graduate School to support regular activities (2015-2016).
  • Seminar Organiser Junior Applied Mathematics Seminars (JAMS) (2015-2016): weekly seminar by PhD students for PhD students with 2 speakers per week from different disciplines.
  • Team Leader International Physics Olympiad 2016, Zurich, Switzerland: International Board Member representing Ghana.
  • Conference OrganiserSIAM Student Chapter 2nd Annual Conference, Imperial College London, UK (06/2016).
  • Conference OrganiserPartial Differential Equations Day, Imperial College London, UK (03/2016).
  • Conference OrganiserMASDOC-CCA Conference, University of Warwick, UK (04/2015).
  • Founding Member SIAM Student Chapter, University of Cambridge, UK: creation of the chapter, organisation of academic and social activities, External Officer (2014-2015).
  • Residence Hall Subwarden, Imperial College London, UK (Volunteer Role): responsible for the well-being of 160-220 undergraduate students including emergency response, welfare, fire safety, first aid, event management, financial management (£12,000 yearly hall budget) (2014-2016).
  • Seminar Organiser for a series of applied mathematics seminars, University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique de Yaoundé, Cameroon: focused on biomathematics, mathematical epidemiology and modelling of infectious diseases (08/2013).

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