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Latest News

Carina Hong ’22 Honored With Morgan Prize

Letong (Carina) Hong

Letong (Carina) Hong '22 will receive the 2023 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student, for proving a number of results and solving conjectures in combinatorics, number theory, and probability.

Carina, a double major in courses 18 and 8 and the former president of the Undergraduate Mathematics Association, is currently at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar for China.

Among others, she thanked her undergraduate advisors Pavel Etingof, "whose kindness and support has been defining in my mathematical journey," Scott Sheffield, "for walking me into the brilliant world of random surfaces with charisma and humor," and Henry Cohn, "for teaching me so much about an intricately charming problem and encouraging me, especially during setbacks."

Carina will be receiving her award at the Joint Mathematical meeting in January in Boston.

Congratulations Carina!

Bjorn Poonen Wins the 2023 Doob Prize

Bjorn Poonen

The American Mathematical Society's 2023 Joseph L. Doob Prize is awarded to Bjorn Poonen's 2017 book Rational Points on Varieties, in the series Graduate Studies in Mathematics.

The citation called his book "an essential reference for anybody who wishes to apply the tools and techniques of modern algebraic geometry to the venerable area of Diophantine equations."

The prize will be awarded at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston this January.

"I am indebted to the many researchers who, motivated by classical Diophantine equations, developed this beautiful subject connecting number theory and algebraic geometry," says Bjorn. "I find it very rewarding to be honored for this, the single mathematical project that I have devoted more of my life to developing than any other."

Read more in the AMS News release.

Peter Shor Receives Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Peter Shor

Peter Shor, Morss Professor and a PhD alum (’85) of our department, has been named the co-recipient of the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics!

He shares this prestigious award with Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard, and David Deutsch, for their foundational work in quantum information. Shor’s algorithm finds the prime factors of an integer in polynomial time on a quantum computer, while this is unknown for any classical algorithm. This, and his techniques for error-correction in quantum computers, “paved the way for today’s fast-developing quantum computers,” says the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Also, former MIT math faculty member and also PhD alum (’95) Daniel Spielman, now Sterling Professor at Yale U., was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics for “breakthrough contributions to theoretical computer science and mathematics, including to spectral graph theory, the Kadison-Singer problem, numerical linear algebra, optimization, and coding theory.”

And our former NSF postdoc Maggie Miller, now at Stanford University and a Clay Research Fellow, earned a Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize for her work on fibered ribbon knots and surfaces in 4-dimensional manifolds.

Read more in the MIT News.

Congratulations to Peter, Dan, and Maggie!

MIT Hosts the 2022 Math Prize for Girls

Math Prize for Girls winners
Left to right: Advantage Testing Foundation founder Arun Alagappan, Jane Street’s Sandor Lehoczky, Boston College Professor Eli Grigsby, and Math Prize for Girls winner Jessica Wan.
Photo: Jared Charney

Congratulations to the winners of the 14th annual Math Prize for Girls, which was hosted by MIT during the weekend of October 7-9, 2022. Created and organized by the Advantage Testing Foundation, the competition drew 240 girls from across the US and Canada to compete for cash prizes.

"This competition encourages more girls to be passionate about mathematics and interested in STEM careers, and this is certainly much-needed," says Department head Michel Goemans.

Read more at the MIT News.