During my last year at the Gymnasium, one of high school's German relatives, I had to decide on what to study. I was interested in mathematics, physics, and computer science. Mathematics and physics where my favorite classes and, by then, I had been teaching myself to code for close to nine years.
Physics was quickly eliminated from my list, though I no longer remember why. That left mathematics and computer science. In my youthful naïveté, I thought that I could teach myself everything interesting computer science had to offer, and thus decided on studying mathematics. Even though the rationale was questionable, it was the right choice. On the one hand, I enjoyed studying mathematics and it came to me naturally—the latter probably causing the former. On the other hand, of course, I did not teach myself everything interesting I might have learned studying for a computer science degree (though I continue to work towards it). In any case, it was enough to land interesting jobs right after finishing with my PhD studies.
I started to study mathematics in Ilmenau where I got my Diplom, the mostly discontinued German cousin of a Master's degree.
Right from the start, I was looking for a way to study abroad. I thought aiming high would not hurt and applied to the University of Cambridge after my second year. My boldness payed off and I spent a year doing Part III as a member of Magdalene College. This got me a Master's degree.
With two degrees under my belt, I started to work towards a PhD. At first in Ilmenau, then continuing in Ulm following my supervisor. The field of research of my doctoral thesis can be best categorized as graph theory and discreet algorithms. And at the end of 2012, I was awarded a PhD.
I end this page with a list of mathematical publications that I coauthored. Thanks to a publication that was coauthored by Vašek Chvátal, I have Erdős number 2—the lowest I could reasonably get, given that Erdős died when I was 10.
Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, and Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Irreversible Conversion Processes with Deadlines, Journal of Discrete Algorithms, 26, 69-76, 2014
Dieter Rautenbach, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Null-Homotopic Graphs and Triangle-Completions of Spanning Trees, UTILITIAS MATHEMATICA, 92, 359-363, 2013
Michael A. Henning, Dieter Rautenbach, and Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Open Packing, Total Domination, and the P₃-Radon Number, Discrete Mathematics, 313, 9, 992-998, 2013
Mitre Costa Dourado, Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, and Jaime Luiz Szwarcfiter, On the Carathéodory Number of Interval and Graph Convexities, Theoretical Computer Science, 510, 127-135, 2013
Mitre Costa Dourado, Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Jaime Luiz Szwarcfiter, and Alexandre Toman, An Upper Bound on the P₃-Radon Number, Discrete Mathematics, 312, 16, 2433-2437, 2012
Mitre Costa Dourado, Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Jaime Luiz Szwarcfiter, Alexandre Toman, On the Radon Number for P₃-Convexity, LATIN 2012: Theoretical Informatics, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 7256, 267-278, 2012
Dieter Rautenbach and Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Strict Betweenness Induced by Posets as well as Graphs, Order, 28, 1, 89-97, 2011
Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, and Jaime Luiz Szwarcfiter, On Subbetweennesses of Trees: Hardness, Algorithms, and Characterization, Computers & Mathematics with Applications, 62, 12, 4674-4681, 2011
Dieter Rautenbach, Vinícius Fernandes dos Santos, Philipp Matthias Schäfer, and Jaime Luiz Szwarcfiter, Characterization and Representation Problems for Intersection Betweenness, Discrete Applied Mathematics, 159, 5, 389-395, 2011
Mitre Costa Dourado, Dieter Rautenbach, and Philipp Matthias Schäfer, On Finite Convexity Spaces Induced by Sets of Paths in Graphs, Discrete Mathematics, 311, 8-9, 616-619, 2011
Vašek Chvátal, Dieter Rautenbach, and Philipp Matthias Schäfer, Finite Sholander Trees, Trees, and their Betweenness, Discrete Mathematics, 311, 20, 2143-2147, 2011