The Institute of Mathematics is a medium-sized department, which means that first-year students will not be faced with the daunting prospects of anonymity or having to navigate numerous unknown buildings (typical for larger universities), but will instead be welcomed into an environment that will soon feel familiar. The employees at the Institute as well as the student council (the General Students Committee (ASTA)) put great effort into supporting first-year students in particular. The student council provides additional support during the introductory week. The introductory week does not focus on mathematics but is intended to assist students in familiarizing themselves with the university in terms of finding their way around and getting to know how the organizational side of things work. Students will learn about working methods that are useful for their degree, future prospects in regard to degree and career, and get to know their fellow students, in order to establish friendships and make connections in their new environment.
For over 30 years, the Institute of Mathematics has continued to stand out due to its improvements in regard to the education of first-year students. Wherever possible, students are taught in small groups, allowing for a more intensive working environment for each individual. Overcrowded seminars are an absolute no-go.
It is, of course, important to look beyond the first few semesters. The pedagogical and didactic aspects mentioned above do by no means distract from the field of mathematics itself. On the contrary: Advanced students experience science first hand. In Mainz, nearly all fields of mathematics and applied mathematics are represented by leading international experts.