Paul Wollan defended his dissertation entitled "Extremal functions for graph linkages and rooted minors" in December 2005, and in January 2006 started a one year postdoctoral position in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization at the University of Waterloo, Canada, working with Bertrand Guenin, winner of the 2003 Fulkerson prize. In many respects the C&O department is a sister institution to our ACO program. Even as a graduate student Paul became interested in matroid theory, more precisely in its structural aspects, a topic he is now pursuing full time with Bertrand at the University of Waterloo. In August 2006, during a short visit to Atlanta, Paul was notified that he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to work at the University of Hamburg, Germany, with Reinhard Diestel, best known for his authoritative textbook on Graph Theory, also used in the ACO curriculum.
The initial appointment is for one year, and is renewable for another year. It also includes a commitment for life to support shorter visits to Germany in the future, should Paul desire to continue his collaboration with German scientists.
The Humboldt Research Fellowships are awarded to "highly qualified, foreign scientists and scholars of all nationalities and disciplines holding doctorates, aged up to 40, from abroad for a long-term research stay in Germany (up to 600 fellowships per annum)". They are offered world-wide on a competitive basis. The most important criteria for selection are the applicant's international publications to date and the quality and feasibility of the research proposal.