The Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry for Education and Research) has declared 2008 the Jahr der Mathematik (Year of Mathematics). So schools and universities all around Germany are having activities to raise public awareness of mathematics as a fascinating science, as a constant companion at work and in daily life, and as the basis of all sciences and technological developments. The University of Köln is no exception, and last night we had the kick-off event - a public lecture by Prof. Dr. Martin Grötschel from Berlin, addressing how complicated mathematics plays a role in our daily lives. Chris got to flex his German language muscles, yet thankfully (for both of us) the presentation involved lots of pictures and movies. Speaking of movies, there is an official trailer for the Jahr der Mathematik, which doesn't require knowing German or mathematics to enjoy.