Dr. Josef Mattes

Letzte Änderung Last change: 2018-06-09
Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Wien

Publikationsliste / list of publications

Siehe auch meine Seite zu / See also my page about Feldenkrais & MBSR (auf Deutsch / in German)

Tree of Interests

Personal History

I always had considerable talent for and interest in mathematics, and to a lesser extent the sciences. On the other hand, for as long as I can remember I felt that there was a number of things about myself that needed improvement; thus I was also interested in ways to do this, in particular in "Eastern" methods of meditation like Zen or Daoism. In the course of time, interest in medical and psychological topics was increased also due to considerable back pain.

After starting academic work on foundations of mathematics (see publications), and being disappointed by the actually pretty weak justifications for the allegedly "intuitively obvious" axioms of set theory, I wanted to move in a more applied direction and got a PhD from UC Berkeley for work on quantum groups and topology. My time in California encompassed a major personal crisis lasting several years, whose collateral damage included loss of interest in more or less abstract mathematics. After a three-year stint as visiting research assistant professor at UC Davis I returned to Austria.

Trying to get into a really applied field, and through a chain of chance events, I ended up both having a part-time job at the Numerical Harmonic Analysis Group; and getting a post-graduate degree in Quantitative Finance from the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) Vienna. Already having abandoned foundations of mathematics for its lack of real foundations, the foundations of much of economic theory turned out to look no better. On the positive side, I did acquire a strong interest in behavioural economics, and more generally in how/when/why we go wrong in our opinions and decisions (what psychologists refer to as "cognitive illusions" or "heuristics and biases").

One of these biases, the negativity bias, leads us to overemphasis perceived problems (just look at the nearest newspaper). Positive psychology set out to redress this inbalance - this is another one of my interests (compare the tree above).

I am currently (March 2018) a distance student in the MAPP (MSc Applied Positive Psychology) program at Bucks New University, towards the end of MBSR teacher training, and at the beginning stage of psychotherapy training (with particular interest in "3rd wave" cognitive-behavioural therapy: MBCT, ACT, ...; and body-involving approaches: Focusing, AT, ...), while also teaching Mindful Movement (in the form of the Feldenkrais Method).

For recent work see List of publications. For my practice see my Feldenkrais & MBSR page (in German)



3rd Millennium

Main Research Topics

In preparation / under review

Peer reviewed

Unpublished, or not peer reviewed

Conference contributions

Publications: 2nd Millennium

Main Topics

Peer reviewed publications

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