Date: 08.09.20

First semester students

Hey, you are commencing your studies in a time like no other! We will do our best to make your first semester instructive, and enjoyable, nonetheless. 

Our course traditionally starts with the “Mathematischer Vorkurs”. It is ideal to bring everyone on the same page and, maybe even more importantly, is a first chance for you to get to know your fellow students -- the people you will spend the next years with and who will be hugely important not only during your studies but also afterwards. The students’ association (“Fachschaft”) traditionally organizes the social events around this maths course, and they have come up with creative ideas on how to give you the best possible experience while keeping everyone safe. See here for more information. In summary, we strongly recommend every first semester student to take part in the “Mathematischer Vorkurs”. 


In a few weeks’ time, you will be able to register for a “bubble”. This is a group of you and 30 peers, who will go through the semester together. On most days, you will follow your lectures online. Perhaps you will decide to follow it in a video chat with a few of your fellow students. Every so often, your entire bubble will be the one that can go and attend the lecture in person. You will also be able to attend the weekly tutorial session for each lecture in person, again with the fellows from your bubble. 

We will host bubbles only in our largest lecture halls; in most cases, this means we will use only one sixth, or even less, of the nominal capacity of our lecture halls. The flipside of having such generous spacing is that we will need to organize some tutorials late or very late in the day, as well as on Saturday mornings. 

Our faculty did very well even last semester when there was virtually no time to reorganize the studies; so we are very confident that things will work out well in the winter semester. 

Please read on for more general information. 


All students 


We are organizing a combination of virtual and in-person teaching for you. Our strong recommendation is for you to be physically present in the Heidelberg area during the lecture period. 

Individual courses will have specific arrangements, but some general requirements and recommendations are summarized here. 

Courses, tutorials  

Courses will be attended in-person by at most 30 students at a time. Please see the respective web page of your course for instructions. Exams will be in-person or virtual, again please refer to your course for instructions. 

Technical equipment 

To interact efficiently with your fellow students, your tutors and professors when working from home, you need a quality setup. You should therefore make sure to have

  • a good microphone and speakers
  • a good webcam.

Most devices have those built in, but a headset or similar setup can improve the quality. 

It is also useful to have a digital stylus / digital pen allowing you to write equations and notes. This could be a convertible notebook that works with a stylus (not just with touch input); or a standalone tablet that works with a stylus; or a graphics tablet with or without screen. The latter can be bought for 40 Euro or so.

When working with a PC / notebook, many people also find a second display helpful. 

Personal protective equipment

In the buildings of the department, you should wear a mask (“Mund-Nasenschutz”) at all times, including in lecture halls. Masks must not have valves, meaning that your exhaled air is filtered as well. It is really important that your mask fits comfortably, so find a model that suits you well. 


We have upgraded the cleaning service, but still ask that you bring a small bottle of disinfectant to clean your desk when taking a new seat. 


We also ask that all students install the privacy-preserving "Corona Warn App"


 Please ask our directors of study:

Or the dean of students:

Prof. Dr. Selim Jochim

Or the chair of the examination committee:

Prof. Dr. Cornelis Dullemond, he is operating an FAQ page here.

Or our student representatives (Fachschaft)