Past news announcements from the department homepage.
July 19: Michel Goemans Awarded Dantzig Prize
Michel Goemans Awarded Dantzig Prize
Michel Goemans received the George B. Dantzig Prize, recognizing Michel’s "outstanding contributions to the field of combinatorial optimization; most notably, the initiation of new research directions, introduction of novel and deep techniques, and ingenious use of sampling, rounding, and geometric ideas to significantly advance several fields, including the pioneering use of semi-definite programming for the design of approximation algorithms."
Michel was also named RSA Professor of Mathematics. The RSA public key encryption technology was invented at MIT by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, who were on the faculty in Mathematics (for Len and Adi) and in EECS (for Ron).
July 19: Allen Liu Awarded Hertz Fellowship
Allen Liu Awarded Hertz Fellowship
Allen is developing algorithms with provable guarantees for a variety of fundamental learning problems in preference learning, robust statistics, and other areas. Under Ankur Moitra, Liu developed an efficient algorithm that provably learns the parameters of a mixture of Gaussians from samples, even amid adversarial noise.
July 19: Ankur Moitra Appointed Norbert Wiener Professor
Ankur Moitra Appointed Norbert Wiener Professor
Ankur Moitra has been promoted to full professor, and now holds the Norbert Wiener Professorship in Mathematics. Norbert Wiener, the father of cynernetics, was on the faculty in the Department from 1926 until his retirement in 1960 as Institute Professor Emeritus.
Ankur has also started in his new role as Director of the MIT Statistics and Data Science Center (SDSC).
July 19: Philippe Rigollet Named Fellow of IMS
Philippe Rigollet Named Fellow of IMS
Philippe Rigollet was named a fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics. He was recognized for "outstanding contributions to the analysis of statistical versus computational trade-offs, to the theory of aggregation, and to statistical optimal transport."
June 2: Three Math Majors Named 2021 Burchard Scholars
Three Math Majors Named 2021 Burchard Scholars
Sophomore Ryan Conti and juniors Swapnil Garg and Jeffery Yu are among 38 MIT students named 2021 Burchard Scholars by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS). The Burchard Scholars program recognizes sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding abilities and academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences as well as in STEM fields.
Congratulations Ryan, Swapnil, and Jeffery!
May 28: Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 58 Mathematics Seniors
Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 58 Mathematics Seniors
The Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has elected 58 mathematics majors, among 148 electees from MIT’s Class of 2021, to become members. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society with a very selective invitation process. Membership is awarded to students in recognition of excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education.
Congratulations to our newest members of Phi Beta Kappa!
May 28: Congratulations to our 2021 PhDs!
May 28: Korina Digalaki and Vanshika Jain Receive Honorable Mentions for 2021 Alice T. Schafer Prize
Korina Digalaki and Vanshika Jain Receive Honorable Mentions for 2021 Alice T. Schafer Prize
Math seniors Korina Digalaki and Vanshika Jain won Honorable Mentions for the 2021 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, by the Association for Women in Mathematics.
Congratulations Korina and Vanshika!
May 28: Qiuyu Ren and Junyao Peng Each Receive Bucsela Prize
Qiuyu Ren and Junyao Peng Each Receive Bucsela Prize
Seniors Qiuyu Ren and Junyao Peng each received the 2021 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
Congratulations Qiuyu and Junyao!
May 28: Jonathan Tidor Receives Johnson Prize
Jonathan Tidor Receives Johnson Prize
The 2021 Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal, went to Jonathan Tidor, a fourth-year doctoral candidate. His paper, "Testing linear-invariant properties" (jointly with Professor Yufei Zhao), has been published in Foundations of Computer Science.
May 28: Andrei Ionov Receives Housman Award
Andrei Ionov Receives Housman Award
Graduate student Andrei Ionov has been awarded the 2021 Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
May 28: Ruoxuan Yang Receives Graduate Appreciation Fellowship
Ruoxuan Yang Receives Graduate Appreciation Fellowship
Graduate student Ruoxuan Yang has been awarded the 2021 Graduate Appreciation Fellowship. This is presented to graduate women entering their final year, in recognition of contributions to teaching and departmental service.
May 28: Teaching and Learning Awards
Teaching and Learning Awards
Seniors Jack-William Barotta, Andrew Lin, and Nelson Niu, and CLE Moore Instructors Junho Whang and Pei-Ken Hung, were recognized by the Department with Teaching and Learning Awards. This is presented in recognition of contributions to teaching.
Also recognized for their outstanding contributions to teaching were Josh Amaniampong, Yongyi Chen, Murilo Curato Zanarella, Felix Gotti, Katie Gravel, Brin Harper, Xzavier Herbert, Sujay Kazi, Daniel Kriz, Jeffery Li, Rene Reyes, Nika Silkin, Shengtong Zhang, and the “Proofs-IAP Workshop” team.
May 28: Students Awarded for Community Building
Students Awarded for Community Building
Undergraduates Talia Blum, Katie Gravel, and Letong "Carina" Hong, and graduate students Peter Haine and Chengzhao "Richard" Zhang received Community Building Awards "for individuals who have made significant contributions to building and strengthening our MIT Mathematics community."
Honorable mention goes to Andrea Arias, Jack-William Barotta, Kevin Chang, Brin Harper, Xzavier Herbert, Andrew Lin, Rachana Madhukara, Nelson Niu, Ana Reyes Sanchez, Boya Song, and Rona Wang.
Congratulations Talia, Katie, Carina, Peter, and Richard!
May 28: Students Recognized by 2021 MIT Awards Convocation
Students Recognized by 2021 MIT Awards Convocation
Kevin Costello ’21 received the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Award, for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the arts at MIT.
Marisa Gaetz ’G received the Priscilla King Gray Award for Public Service, which recognizes exceptional dedication to community engagement and making positive social and environmental changes at MIT and beyond.
Letong "Carina" Hong ’23 received the Emerging Leader Award in recognition of significant contributions to the community and demonstrated potential for leadership and continuing service.
Miles Johnson ’21 received the Ronald E. McNair Scholarship, established in Dr. McNair’s honor by the Black Alumni/ae of MIT, to recognize a Black undergraduate who has demonstrated strong academic performance and who has made a considerable contribution to the minority community.
Anjali Nambrath ’21 received the Laya W. Wiesner Award as an undergraduate woman student who has most enhanced MIT community life.
Congratulations Kevin, Marisa, Miles, Carina, and Anjali!
April 28: Daniel Freedman, Larry Guth, and Gigliola Staffilani Are Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Daniel Freedman, Larry Guth, and Gigliola Staffilani Are Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is one of the highest honors that a scientist can achieve. They join 15 other NAS members in our department.
Congratulations Dan, Larry, and Gigliola!
April 28: Scott Sheffield Named American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow
Scott Sheffield Named American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow
Professor Scott Sheffield has been elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As described by AAAS, "The election of new Academy members in 2021 provides an opportunity to recognize extraordinary people who help solve the world’s most urgent challenges, create meaning through art, and contribute to the common good from every field, discipline, and profession."
April 28: Haynes Miller Receives Lazarus Award for Excellence In Advising
Haynes Miller Receives Lazarus Award for Excellence In Advising
Professor Haynes Miller has been awarded the 2021 Alan J. Lazarus (1953) Excellence in Advising by the Office of the First Year. The award is "presented to a faculty member who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor to first-year students and who has had a significant impact on their personal lives and academic success."
The presentation will be at a virtual ceremony for award recipients (advisors, first-years and associate advisors) on May 13.
April 28: Jerry Orloff Receives Teaching with Digital Technology Award
Jerry Orloff Receives Teaching with Digital Technology Award
Lecturer Jerry Orloff PhD ’85 received the 2021 Teaching with Digital Technology Award for enhancing on-campus and remote teaching. The awards are student-nominated and co-sponsored by MIT Open Learning and the Office of the Vice Chancellor.
Jerry teaches 18.05, is a lecturer at Experimental Study Group for versions of 18.01A, 02A and 03, and serves on our Education Committee. Professor Haynes Miller also commented on his "invaluable contributions to the MIT Mathlet project."
April 28: John Bush and Martin Bazant Develop Covid-19 Risk Guidelines
John Bush and Martin Bazant Develop Covid-19 Risk Guidelines
By considering the fluid mechanics of indoor spaces, they developed a new safety guideline for limiting airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors. Their mathematical model yields a time limit for a given indoor space that depends on the ventilation rate, mask use and number of occupants. Their study underscores the inadequacy of the 6-Foot Rule in protecting against airborne transmission.
Their work has prompted the development of an app that calculates safe exposure times and occupancy levels for indoor spaces, and Martin’s MOOC on the physics of Covid-19 transmission.
April 13: Fiona Chen and Ashwin Sah Named Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows
Fiona Chen and Ashwin Sah Named Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows
Math majors Fiona Chen ’21 and Ashwin Sah ’20 are among this year’s recipients of the 2021 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, in support of graduate study. Fiona will use her fellowship to pursue a PhD in economics at Harvard, and Ashwin to continue his graduate studies in mathematics here at MIT.
Congratulations Fiona and Ashwin!
March 29: Yufei Zhao Receives NSF CAREER Award
Yufei Zhao Receives NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Professor Yufei Zhao will be awarded support by the NSF's Faculty Early Career Development Program, for his project "Analytic and Spectral Methods in Combinatorics."
March 23: PRIMES and RSI Students Win Big at Regeneron
PRIMES and RSI Students Win Big at Regeneron
Yunseo Choi, who is also an RSI alum, took first place ($250,000), and Gopal Goel earned 4th place ($100,000). Three PRIMES alums, along with another RSI student, were finalists, and 12 PRIMES students received national scholar awards.
Congratulations to our PRIMES and RSI students, and thanks to faculty advisors Pavel Etingof, David Jerison, and Ankur Moitra, program director Slava Gerovitch, head mentor Tanya Khovanova, and the mentors for inspiring our students to succeed!
March 11: Larry Guth named 2021 MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Larry Guth named 2021 MacVicar Faculty Fellow
The 10-year fellowship is awarded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar’s Office to recognize faculty, who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates at MIT.
February 18: Dor Minzer and Lisa Piccirillo Receive Sloan Fellowship
Dor Minzer and Lisa Piccirillo Receive Sloan Fellowship
Dor Minzer and Lisa Piccirillo have been awarded 2021 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships. Dor and Lisa, who recently joined our department as assistant professors, are among eight MIT researchers awarded.
The Sloan Foundation awarded these fellowships to 128 U.S. and Canadian researchers, who will each receive $75,000 to be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.
Congratulations Dor and Lisa!
February 18: George Lusztig Receives Simons Fellowship
George Lusztig Receives Simons Fellowship
Professor George Lusztig was awarded a 2021 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. Outstanding mathematicians recognized by the Simons Fellows program are able to extend sabbatical leaves from one term to a full year, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances.
February 9: PRIMES and Marisa Gaetz Receive MLK Jr. Leadership Award
PRIMES and Marisa Gaetz Receive MLK Jr. Leadership Award
PRIMES is recognized "for deep and coordinated commitment to improving diversity in mathematics."
Marisa is recognized for her efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity within the math community, including as a PRIMES Circle mentor, and for her work with The Educational Justice Institute (TEJI) at MIT.
January 29: Lisa Piccirillo and Postdocs Maggie Miller and Alex Smith Named 2021 Clay Research Fellows
Lisa Piccirillo and Postdocs Maggie Miller and Alex Smith Named 2021 Clay Research Fellows
Lisa, who recently joined our department as assistant professor, was recognized for her work in low-dimensional topology, and in particular her surprising resolution of the 50-year-old Conway Knot problem.
Maggie, an NSF postdoctoral fellow at MIT, has also made important contributions to long standing problems in low-dimensional topology. Smith, also an NSF postdoc, has made deep contributions to the theory of elliptic curves and class groups. Both will be moving on to Stanford this summer.
These fellowships, which begin on July 1, 2021, go to recent PhDs who are potential leaders in research mathematics.
Congratulations Lisa, Maggie and Alex!
January 14: Alan Edelman Elected ACM Fellow
Alan Edelman Elected ACM Fellow
Alan Edelman PhD ’89 was among three MIT faculty named Association for Computer Machinery 2020 Fellows. He was cited “for contributions to algorithms and languages for numerical and scientific computing.”
Alan does research on high-performance computing, numerical computation, linear algebra, random matrix theory, and scientific machine learning. He leads the MIT Julia Lab and is chief scientist at Julia Computing. He is also a fellow of SIAM, AMS, and IEEE.
December 18: Four Graduate Students Receive Lusztig and Bershadsky PRIMES Mentorships
Four Graduate Students Receive Lusztig and Bershadsky PRIMES Mentorships
Four graduate students received the 2021 named PRIMES mentorships for exceptional mentor service.
Three received the 2021 George Lusztig Mentorships. Peter Haine is a DRP and MathROOTS mentor, and a PRIMES Circle program coordinator since 2018. Chun Hong Lo, who is a PRIMES, RSI, UROP+ and SPUR mentor, saw three PRIMES mentees become 2019 Yau Science Award USA semifinalists. Adela (YiYu) Zhang is a PRIMES, RSI, UROP+, MathROOTS, and PRIMES Circle mentor.
The new Bershadsky Mentor Award, courtesy of Michael and Victoria Bershadsky, goes to Andrey Khesin, a PRIMES mentor and MathROOTS program director.
Congratulations Peter, Chun, Adela, and Andrey, and thank you Professor Lusztig, and Michael and Victoria Bershadsky for making these mentorships possible!
November 6: Andrew Sutherland Is Named 2021 AMS Fellow
Andrew Sutherland Is Named 2021 AMS Fellow
He was recognized for
contributions to number theory, both on the theoretical and computational aspects of the subject.
October 30: Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney Receive 2021 Morgan Prize
Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney Receive 2021 Morgan Prize
Graduate students Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney will receive the 2021 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student, for their work as MIT undergraduates. Previously, they received Honorable Mention for the Morgan Prize for their joint work with David Stoner. The award recognizes their
innovative results across a broad range of topics in combinatorics, discrete geometry, and probability.
Congratulations Ashwin and Mehtaab!
September 15: Lisa Piccirillo Awarded 2021 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize in Mathematics
Lisa Piccirillo Awarded 2021 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize in Mathematics
Assistant Professor Lisa Piccirillo was selected for an inaugural 2021 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize, created in 2019 by the Breakthrough Foundation to recognize outstanding early-career women in mathematics. Lisa is cited for “resolving the classic problem that the Conway knot is not smoothly slice.” She was also recently named one of this year's WIRED25 for "People Who Are Making Things Better."
“I can’t wait to see what comes next from these brilliant young women,” said School of Science Dean Nergis Mavalvala, congratulating Lisa Piccirillo, fellow New Frontiers prizewinner and 2018 Math PhD alum Nina Holden, and two women faculty physicists, each selected for the Breakthrough's New Horizons Prize in Physics.
July 29: Semyon Dyatlov, Pei-Ken Hung, and Jonathan Kelner Receive Teaching with Digital Technology Awards
Semyon Dyatlov, Pei-Ken Hung, and Jonathan Kelner Receive Teaching with Digital Technology Awards
"They worked very hard to improve teaching and learning for MIT students in this digital era, and they also helped the rest of the department get up to speed," says Department Head Michel Goemans.
Congratulations Semyon, Pei-Ken, and Jon!
July 15: Elchanan Mossel Named 2020 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow
Elchanan Mossel Named 2020 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow
He is among eight distinguished faculty scientists and engineers who will be provided fellowship funds "to advance transformative, university-based fundamental research."
July 1: Gigliola Staffilani Honored with Commitment to Caring Award
Gigliola Staffilani Honored with Commitment to Caring Award
Gigliola Staffilani was honored with the Committed to Caring (C2C) award by the Office of Graduate Education. The C2C program recognizes outstanding mentors and promotes thoughtful, engaged mentorship throughout the Institute.
“Her students spoke glowingly of her caring action and the positive impact she has made on graduate student lives,” says Department Head Michel Goemans.
Gigliola was one of 12 outstanding advisors and mentors at MIT to receive the biennial C2C award.
July 1: Alexei Borodin and Zhiwei Yun Named Simons Investigators
Alexei Borodin and Zhiwei Yun Named Simons Investigators
This program "supports outstanding theoretical scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists."
They are among 15 of the 2020 Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics, and Computer Science.
Alexei and Zhiwei join their fellow Simons Investigators Larry Guth, Elchanan Mossel, Bjorn Poonen, and Paul Seidel.
Congratulations Alexei and Zhiwei!
June 18: Yufei Zhao Receives MIT’s UROP Outstanding Mentor Award
Yufei Zhao Receives MIT’s UROP Outstanding Mentor Award
Yufei Zhao received this year’s UROP Outstanding Mentor Award, presented to research mentors who have demonstrated exceptional guidance and teaching in a research setting. Yufei's undergraduate mentees have already produced numerous high-quality results and published in prestigious venues. Beyond their research projects, Yufei offers guidance on their decision making, and personally assists in finding summer internships. Students wrote that Yufei "made research mathematics less intimidating to us and truly sparked our interests in combinatorics." "Professor Zhao is invested in our success."
June 4: Gilbert Strang Receives Irwin Sizer Award
Gilbert Strang Receives Irwin Sizer Award
This year’s Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education was presented to Gilbert Strang by the Graduate Student Council. Gil was recognized for “his ability to make mathematics alive, accessible, and interesting.” His classes and texts on Linear Algebra, Matrix Methods In Data Analysis, Signal Processing, and Machine Learning, and Highlights of Calculus have inspired MIT undergrads and PhD students, as well as millions via his YouTube and OCW lectures. His newest textbook, "Linear Algebra for Everyone," is coming out later this year.
June 4: Ju-Lee Kim Receives MIT’s Earll M. Murman Award
Ju-Lee Kim Receives MIT’s Earll M. Murman Award
Ju-Lee Kim is this year’s recipient of the Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, "presented to a faculty member who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for undergraduates and who has had a significant impact on their personal lives and academic success." Ju-Lee is also recognized for expanding her services as Major Advisor Co-Chair to make the Math Major more inclusive and supportive.
May 29: Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 39 Mathematics Seniors
Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 39 Mathematics Seniors
The Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has elected 39 mathematics majors, among 117 electees from MIT’s Class of 2020, to become members. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society with a very selective invitation process. Membership is awarded to students in recognition of excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education.
Congratulations to our newest members of Phi Beta Kappa!
May 29: 10 Seniors and Two PhD Candidates Awarded NSF Fellowships
10 Seniors and Two PhD Candidates Awarded NSF Fellowships
Twelve of our students have been awarded 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.
- Marisa Gaetz
- Michael Kural
- Allen Liu
- Ashwin Sah
- Roshni Sahoo
- Maya Sankar
- Mehtaab Sawhney
- Douglas Stryker
- Sarah Wu
- Michelle Xu
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees.
May 29: Marisa Gaetz, Timothy Leplae-Arthur, and Sam Turton Recognized by 2020 MIT Awards Convocation
Marisa Gaetz, Timothy Leplae-Arthur, and Sam Turton Recognized by 2020 MIT Awards Convocation
Marisa Gaetz ‘20 received the William L. Stewart, Jr. Award, given in recognition of outstanding contributions by an individual student or student organization to extracurricular activities and events.
Timothy Leplae-Arthur ‘20 received the Ronald E. McNair Scholarship, established in Dr. McNair’s honor by the Black Alumni/ae of MIT, to recognize a Black undergraduate who has demonstrated strong academic performance and who has made a considerable contribution to the minority community.
Sam Turton PhD ’20 received the John S.W. Kellett '47 Award, in recognition of an MIT individual or group for an exceptional and/or sustained commitment to creating a more welcoming environment at MIT, including but not limited to, improving the experience of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender (LBGT), and questioning individuals.
Congratulations Marisa, Timothy, and Sam!
May 28: Congratulations to our 2020 PhDs!
May 27: Andrew Ahn Receives Johnson Prize
Andrew Ahn Receives Johnson Prize
The 2020 Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal, went to Andrew Ahn, a fifth-year doctoral candidate.
May 27: Oscar Mickelin and Chengzhao (Richard) Zhang Receive Housman Awards
Oscar Mickelin and Chengzhao (Richard) Zhang Receive Housman Awards
Graduate students Oscar Mickelin and Richard Zhang have each been awarded the 2020 Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
Congratulations Oscar and Richard!
May 26: Mehtaab Sawhney Named Churchill Scholar
Mehtaab Sawhney Named Churchill Scholar
MIT math senior Mehtaab Sawhney received a prestigious Churchill Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at Cambridge University. This scholarship is awarded to individuals with exceptional academic talent and outstanding achievement.
May 21: Sanath Devalapurkar Named Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow
Sanath Devalapurkar Named Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow
Sanath Devalapurkar ‘20 is among this year’s recipients of the 2020 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, in support of graduate study. He will use his fellowship to support his doctoral studies in mathematics at Harvard University.
May 21: Marisa Gaetz Won Honorable Mention — 2020 Alice T. Schafer Prize
Marisa Gaetz Won Honorable Mention — 2020 Alice T. Schafer Prize
Math major Marisa Gaetz won Honorable Mention for the 2020 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, by the Association for Women in Mathematics.
May 21: Marisa Gaetz and Maya Sankar Named 2020 Hertz Fellows
Marisa Gaetz and Maya Sankar Named 2020 Hertz Fellows
Seniors Marisa Gaetz and Maya Sankar were among 16 to receive the Hertz Fellowship.
The Hertz Fellowship is awarded annually to graduate students in science and technology who demonstrate the greatest potential to tackle the most urgent problems facing society.
Congratulations Marisa and Maya!
May 21: Three Math Majors Named 2020 Burchard Scholars
Three Math Majors Named 2020 Burchard Scholars
Ifeoluwapo Ademolu-Odeneye, Kevin Costello, and Edwin Song are among 38 MIT sophomore and junior students named 2020 Burchard Scholars by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS).
The Burchard Scholars program recognizes sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding abilities and academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences as well as in STEM fields.
Congratulations Ifeoluwapo, Kevin, and Edwin!
May 21: Anlong Chua and Douglas Stryker Each Receives the Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Anlong Chua and Douglas Stryker Each Receives the Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Anlong Chua and Douglas Stryker each received the 2020 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
Congratulations Anlong and Douglas!
May 13: Casey Rodriguez Selected for the School of Science Infinite Kilometer Award
Casey Rodriguez Selected for the School of Science Infinite Kilometer Award
CLE Moore Instructor and NSF Postdoc Fellow Casey Rodriguez was selected for the 2020 Infinite Kilometer Award, recognizing postdocs and research staff for exceptional contributions to their research program and to the community. Casey is described as an outstanding junior colleague: an "inspiring teacher and role model for many math majors," a community builder for fellow postdocs, and one fully engaged in the department's diversity mission. One student described Casey as a master of class participation. "Casey doesn't simply teach mathematics, he preaches it, infecting his students with his love of math."
May 13: Edgar Costa Received the School of Science Infinite Kilometer Award
Edgar Costa Received the School of Science Infinite Kilometer Award
Dr. Edgar Costa, a research scientist in the Simons Collaboration on Arithmetic Geometry, Number Theory, and Computation, received the 2020 Infinite Kilometer Award: for his excellent mentorship of UROP projects and math majors, development of the Bean Theory website (to track the multiple seminars and special events for number theorists in the Boston community), and for hosting the weekly coding jam, open to anyone wanting to contribute to the L-functions and Modular Forms Database (LMFDB) related to the Langlands Program. These outside commitments befit the Infinite Kilometer's recognition of a research staff member contributing "to their local and global MIT community."
May 9: Slava Gerovitch Selected for School of Science Infinite Mile Award
Slava Gerovitch Selected for School of Science Infinite Mile Award
History of Science and Math Lecturer Slava Gerovitch received the Infinite Mile Staff Award for his exemplary service as Director and Administrator of the Department's Research and Reading Programs for Undergraduates and High School Students. He co-founded the PRIMES program, helped to establish EECS PRIMES, and co-created five additional PRIMES math sections — all to serve diverse groups and provide for unique instruction arrangements. As Pavel Etingof describes, Slava has made PRIMES "a powerful recruiting tool for MIT" and "a major part of the diversity effort of the Math Department and the School of Science."
May 8: Bonnie Berger Is Elected Member of National Academy of Sciences
Bonnie Berger Is Elected Member of National Academy of Sciences
Bonnie Berger has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is one of the highest honors that a scientist can achieve.
May 8: PRIMES Recognized in 2020 AMS Award
PRIMES Recognized in 2020 AMS Award
The Department of Mathematics will receive the 2020 American Mathematical Society’s Award for Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department, for its Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science for High School Students (PRIMES).
This award recognizes a department that has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community, internally or in relation to the rest of society.
MIT PRIMES was founded by Pavel Etingof and Slava Gerovitch as an outreach program for high school students. To date, 408 students have participated in MIT PRIMES and PRIMES-USA, 103 completed the PRIMES Circle program, and 100 participated in the summer MathROOTS program. More than 130 PRIMES alumni have matriculated at MIT.
April 16: Nike Sun Awarded Doeblin Prize
Nike Sun Awarded Doeblin Prize
Nike Sun has been awarded the 2020 Wolfgang Doeblin Prize, awarded bi-annually by the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability. The prize is awarded to a single individual for outstanding research in the field of probability, and who is at the beginning of their mathematical career.
March 2: Peter Shor Receives the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and Is Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Peter Shor Receives the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and Is Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Peter Shor, with Charles H. Bennett (IBM Research) and Gilles Brassard (University of Montreal), received The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, in the category of Basic Sciences, "for their fundamental role in the development of quantum computation and cryptology."
Peter was also recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his pioneering contributions to quantum computation.
March 2: MIT Dominates Putnam Competition
MIT Dominates Putnam Competition
For the first time in Putnam history, in the 80th annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, all of the top scorers, designated Putnam Fellows, were from one institution, MIT! In alphabetical order, the Fellows are Ashwin Sah, Kevin Sun Yuan Yao, Shentong Zhang, and Daniel Zhu.
MIT also took 9 of the next 11 top spots, 8 of the following 12, and 33 of the 80 Honorable Mentions. Included among these participants were top female participants Dain Kim and Qi Qi. Qi was one of the three winners of the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize.
February 24: Peter Hintz Receives Sloan Research Fellowship
Peter Hintz Receives Sloan Research Fellowship
He was among five MIT researchers from three departments who received the fellowship.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded 126 U.S. and Canadian early-career scientists and scholars, including 20 mathematicians, $75,000 fellowships to be used to further their research.
January 30: Morgan Prize Honorable Mention Given to Four Students, Formerly or Presently Connected to the Mathematics Department
Morgan Prize Honorable Mention Given to Four Students, Formerly or Presently Connected to the Mathematics Department
MIT math graduate student Murilo Corato Zanarella received the 2020 Frank and Brennie Morgan Honorable Mention Prize for his undergraduate research at Princeton University. Three students, Mehtaab Sawhney '20, Ashwin Sah '20, and RSI alum David Stoner (graduate of Harvard, and now a graduate student at Stanford) were jointly awarded for their collection of papers on a wide range of topics in discrete mathematics. The Morgan Prizes were presented in January at the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meeting.
January 30: Larry Guth to Receive the Maryam Mirzakhani Prize of the National Academy of Sciences
Larry Guth to Receive the Maryam Mirzakhani Prize of the National Academy of Sciences
He is recognized “for developing surprising, original, and deep connections between geometry, analysis, topology, and combinatorics, which have led to the solution of, or major advances on, many outstanding problems in these fields.” The Mirzakhani prize honors exceptional contributions to the mathematical sciences by a mid-career mathematician.
December 19: Alexei Borodin Receives the Fermat Prize
Alexei Borodin Receives the Fermat Prize and Bernoulli Prize
The prize also went to Maryna Viazovska, professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
The Fermat Prize is awarded every two years by the Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse to one or several mathematicians under the age of 45, for contributions to an area where Pierre de Fermat's work was particularly influential: statements of variational principles; foundations of probability and analytical geometry; and number theory.
Alexei will also receive the 2020 Bernoulli Prize for an Outstanding Survey Article. He and his co-author, Leonid Petrov of the University of Virginia, were recognized for their article in Probability Surveys.
December 10: Russian Academy of Sciences Elects Gilbert Strang as Foreign Member
Russian Academy of Sciences Elects Gilbert Strang as Foreign Member
Gilbert Strang has been elected as a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), in the section of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.
Gil is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
December 10: Lucas Mason-Brown named to Forbes 30 Under 30
Lucas Mason-Brown named to Forbes 30 Under 30
PhD candidate Lucas Mason-Brown is among those named to this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneurs listing. His work as a cofounder of Data for Black Lives has built a network of more than 4,000 scientists and activists committed to using data to create measurable change in the lives of black people. He shares this accolade with the organization’s co-founder, Yeshimabeit Milner.
December 10: PRIMES Names Lusztig Mentors
PRIMES Names Lusztig Mentors
Yongyi Chen is a PRIMES 2011 alumnus who has served as a PRIMES, SPUR, and UROP+ mentor since 2017. His PRIMES student Kaan Dokmeci is a 2018 Regeneron STS scholar and a 2017 Siemens regional finalist.
Vishal Arul has served as a PRIMES and MathROOTS mentor since 2016, and has been the Academic Coordinator of MathROOTS since 2017. His PRIMES student Dhruv Rohatgi is a 2016 Siemens semifinalist and a 2017 Regeneron STS scholar.
Kaavya Valiveti began as a PRIMES mentor this year, and is leading two reading projects simultaneously.
Congratulations to Vishal, Yongyi, and Kaavya, and thank you George for making the Lusztig mentorship possible!
December 10: Bonnie Berger to Deliver the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture
Bonnie Berger to Deliver the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture
This Prize highlights the achievements of women in applied and computational mathematics. It was jointly established in 2002 to honor Sonia Kovalevsky and her work on the theory of differential equations.
November 27: Larry Guth Receives Bôcher Memorial Prize
Larry Guth Receives Bôcher Memorial Prize
Larry received the prize for his “deep and influential development of algebraic and topological methods for partitioning the Euclidean space and multi-scale organization of data, and his powerful applications of these tools in harmonic analysis, incidence geometry, analytic number theory, and partial differential equations.” Larry wrote about this technique in his book “Polynomial Methods in Combinatorics.”
“Larry is being recognized for two outstanding papers that use polynomial partitioning, a powerful technique first introduced by Larry together with Nets Katz for their solution of the Erdos distinct distance problem in incidence geometry,” said Department Head Michel Goemans.
November 05: Chenyang Xu Is Named 2020 AMS Fellow
Chenyang Xu Is Named 2020 AMS Fellow
He was recognized for “contributions to algebraic geometry, in particular the minimal model program and the K-stability of Fano varieties.”
October 27: MIT Hosts the 2019 Math Prize for Girls
MIT Hosts the 2019 Math Prize for Girls
Congratulations to the winners of the 11th annual Math Prize for Girls created and organized by the Advantage Testing Foundation, which was hosted by the MIT Math Department during the weekend of October 12-13, 2019. The competition drew 276 girls from across the US and Canada to compete for cash prizes. Gigliola Staffilani gave the Maryam Mirzakhani keynote lecture, named in honor of Mirzakhani, who was the first woman mathematician to receive the Fields Medal.
October 22: Alan Edelman to Receive the Sidney Fernbach Award
Alan Edelman to Receive the Sidney Fernbach Award
Edelman was cited “for outstanding breakthroughs in high performance computing, linear algebra, and computational science and for contributions to the Julia programming language.”
One of the IEEE Computer Society's highest honors, the Sidney Fernbach Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high-performance computers (HPC) using innovative approaches.
October 8: Victor Kac to Be Inducted Into Accademia Nationale dei Lincei
Victor Kac to Be Inducted Into Accademia Nationale dei Lincei
Victor Kac will join Galileo and Einstein as a member to the Accademia Nationale dei Lincei, the oldest science academy in the world.
“I was quite surprised and profoundly honored,” says Kac, who joins only 20 other Accademia foreign members in math, such as Fields medalists Pierre Deligne, Pierre-Louis Lions, David Mumford, and Shing-Tung Yau.
October 7: Three Teams Share Rogers Prize
Three Teams Share Rogers Prize
Yuan Yao and Shengtong Zhang and their mentor and SPUR alum Jonathan Tidor presented “Equiangular Lines with a Fixed Angle,” which judges cited as a “breakthrough solution of a longstanding problem in equiangular lines.” The panel was also impressed by their results in spectral graph theory. The project was suggested by Zilin Jiang and Yufei Zhao.
Douglas Stryker and mentor Ao Sun were awarded for “Construction of High Codimension Ancient Mean Curvature Flows and Codimension Bounds by the Tangent Flow at —∞,” for “the construction of the first example of ancient solutions to mean curvature flow for curves in higher-dimensional Euclidean space.” The panel also commended Douglas “for his superb presentation.” The project was suggested by William Minicozzi.
Quiyu Ren and mentor Yuqui Fu’s “On the Union of Essentially Distinct δ-tubes” was cited for research on problems motivated by the Kakeya conjecture. Specifically, the panel was “impressed by the rigidity results and new insights into measures of near-convexity.” The project was suggested by Larry Guth.
The teams were among several who presented their findings before the faculty panel of Davesh Maulik, Richard Stanley, and Yufei Zhao at the annual SPUR Conference, which was held August 2, 2019. The conference was hosted by SPUR/SPUR+ faculty advisors David Jerison and Ankur Moitra, and program director Slava Gerovitch. Thanks go out to the Rogers family for their support of this program.
October 4: Wei Zhang Receives Clay Research Award
Wei Zhang Receives Clay Research Award
Wei Zhang received the 2019 Clay Research Award, in recognition of his work in arithmetic geometry and arithmetic aspects of automorphic forms. Presented by the Clay Mathematics Institute, the award notes his “landmark contributions” that include a proof of the global Gan-Gross-Prasad conjecture for a wide class of automorphic representations of unitary groups, a proof he did with Zhiwei Yun of a higher-order generalization of the Gross-Zagier formula over function fields, and a proof of Kolyvagin’s conjecture on the structure of Selmer groups for a large class of elliptic curves over Q.
He formulated an arithmetic version of the Gan-Gross-Prasad Conjecture – a vision for a far-reaching generalization of the Gross-Zagier formula over number fields – and pioneered a relative trace formula approach to its proof. He recently achieved a major step in this program by proving the Arithmetic Fundamental Lemma.
The award was presented to Wei Zhang at the Clay Research Conference in Oxford in October 2019. In 2017, Wei was awarded the 2018 New Horizons in Mathematics Breakthrough Prize with Zhiwei Yun.
October 3: Four PRIMES Students Receive Davidson Prizes
Four PRIMES Students Receive Davidson Prizes
A record number of Davidson Institute Fellowships received — 4! — were collected by our PRIMES high school students this summer. They swept all three prizes in math, and won the only award in Massachusetts.
Two received 2019 Davidson Fellowships:
Aayush Karan, 17, of Muskego, WI, received the $25,000 Davidson Fellowship for his project “Generating Set for Nonzero Determinant Links under Skein Relation,” done under the mentorship of CLE Moore instructor Dr. Jianfeng Lin, and published in Topology and Its Applications 265 (2019). He said in his award statement, “Under Dr. Lin’s mentorship, I not only completed my project in knot theory but was able to learn a great deal about the research process.” Aayush has entered MIT as a freshman this fall.
Daniel Zhu, 17, of Potomac, MD, received the $10,000 scholarship for his project "On the Okounkov-Olshanski formula for the number of tableaux of skew shapes,"" under mentor UMass-Amherst Prof. Alejandro Morales, MIT Math PhD '12. In his statement, he said that Prof. Morales was "a constant source of ideas, suggestions, or just simply motivation."
September 18: The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
42 = (-80538738812075974)3 + 804357581458175153 + 126021232973356313
August 15: Daniel Freedman Wins Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Daniel Freedman Wins Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
August 15, 2019
Professor emeritus Daniel Z. Freedman has been awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He shares the $3 million prize with two colleagues, Sergio Ferrara of CERN and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen of Stony Brook University, with whom he developed the theory of supergravity.
“Dan’s work on supergravity has changed how scientists think about physics beyond the standard model, combining principles of supersymmetry and Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” says Michael Sipser, dean of the MIT School of Science and the Donner Professor of Mathematics. “His exemplary research is central to mathematical physics and has given us new pathways to explore in quantum field theory and superstring theory.”
Read more about Dan’s achievement in the MIT News.
July 24: Bonnie Berger Receives ISCB Senior Scientist Award
Bonnie Berger Receives ISCB Senior Scientist Award
Bonnie Berger was honored by the International Society for Computational Biology for the Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award at the ISMB/ECCB Conference, July 21-25, 2019 in Basel, Switzerland. At the conference, Bonnie presented the keynote address, "Biomedical Data Sharing and Analysis at Scale."
The ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award recognizes leaders in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics for their significant research, education, and service contribution.
July 23: Zhiwei Yun Awarded ICCM Gold Medal
Zhiwei Yun Awarded ICCM Gold Medal
Zhiwei Yun received the Gold Medal of Mathematics at June’s 8th International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM) in Beijing.
At the last Congress, which was in 2016, Zhiwei had received a Silver medal, and Wei Zhang received a Gold medal.
Formerly known as the Morningside Medal of Mathematics, this recognition is given to exceptional mathematicians of Chinese descent under the age of 45 for their achievements in pure and applied mathematics.
July 21: Elchanan Mossel Named 2019 Simons Investigator
July 16: Tenure Granted to Semyon Dyatlov and Ankur Moitra
Tenure Granted to Semyon Dyatlov and Ankur Moitra
Read more about them and six other recently promoted School of Science professors at MIT News.
Congratulations Semyon and Ankur!
July 1: Nike Sun Receives NSF CAREER Award
Nike Sun Receives NSF CAREER Award
Associate Professor Nike Sun has been honored with an award through the Faculty Early Career Development Program for her project “Phase Transitions in Randomized Combinatorial Search and Optimization Problems.”
July 1: Bjorn Poonen Appointed Distinguished Professor in Science
Bjorn Poonen Appointed Distinguished Professor in Science
Professor Bjorn Poonen has been appointed as the inaugural Distinguished Professor in Science by the School of Science.
July 1: Larry Guth Appointed Claude E. Shannon Professor of Mathematics
Larry Guth Appointed Claude E. Shannon Professor of Mathematics
Professor Larry Guth has been selected as the Claude E. Shannon Professor of Mathematics.
July 1: Laurent Demanet Promoted to Professor of Applied Mathematics
Laurent Demanet Promoted to Professor of Applied Mathematics
Laurent Demanet has been promoted from Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics to Professor of Applied Mathematics.
June 6: Congratulations to our 2019 PhDs!
June 1: Eric Larson PhD ’18 Receives Hertz Foundation Thesis Award
Eric Larson PhD ’18 Receives Hertz Foundation Thesis Award
Math alum Eric Larson PhD ’18 earned the 2019 Hertz Thesis Prize from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation for providing a proof for a long-unsolved mathematical problem as his April 2018 doctoral thesis “The Maximal Rank Conjecture.”
“To have a mathematics thesis win a Hertz Thesis Prize is extremely special. It’s never happened before,” said Hertz Fellow Thomas Weaver. “In my opinion, this is the most remarkable thesis in pure math that I’ve ever seen a Hertz Fellow produce.”
Larson continues to work on the interpolation problem with his wife, Isabel Vogt PhD ’19. They will both complete postdoctoral appointments at Stanford next year, then begin tenure-track faculty positions at the University of Washington in 2020.
May 17: Vishal Arul, Gweneth McKinley, and Sam Turton Receive 2019 Housman Awards
Vishal Arul, Gweneth McKinley, and Sam Turton Receive 2019 Housman Awards
Graduate students Vishal Arul, Gweneth McKinley, and Sam Turton have each been awarded the Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
Congratulations Vishal, Gwen, and Sam!
May 17: 2019 MIT Convocation Awards Math Seniors Ahaan Rungta and Luke Sciarappa (Archive)
2019 MIT Convocation Awards Math Seniors Ahaan Rungta and Luke Sciarappa (Archive)
Ahaan Rungta received the Harold J. Pettegrove Award, given in recognition of outstanding service to intramural athletics.
Luke Sciarappa received the Frederick Gardiner Fassett Jr. award, presented annually to up to three individuals of the Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups (FSILG), who have most unselfishly demonstrated the qualities of spirit, dedication, and service in furthering the ideals of MIT brotherhood, sisterhood, and membership excellence.
Congratulations Ahaan and Luke!
May 16: Cesar Cuenca Earns 2019 Johnson Prize
Cesar Cuenca Earns 2019 Johnson Prize
The 2019 Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal went to Cesar Cuenca, a fifth-year doctoral candidate.
His paper “BC type z-measures and determinantal point processes” was published in Advances in Mathematics on August 20, 2018.
May 12: Bill Minicozzi and Yufei Zhao Earn 2019 First-Year Advisor Awards
Bill Minicozzi and Yufei Zhao Earn 2019 First-Year Advisor Awards
The award ceremony was held on May 16 in the Student Center, to celebrate the outstanding contributions of first year students, their advisors, and associate advisors.
Congratulations Bill and Yufei!
May 10: Ashwin Sah Receives the Goldwater Scholarship
Ashwin Sah Receives the Goldwater Scholarship
Math major Ashwin Sah received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship for 2019-2020. Mentored by Yufei Zhao and Joseph Gallian (University of Minnesota Duluth), Ashwin was among 496 college students selected on the basis of academic merit, from a nationwide field of candidates.
Read More at MIT News
May 9: Gil Strang Is Still Going Strong, Online and in Print
Gil Strang Is Still Going Strong, Online and in Print
“He is a favorite; there is no way around it,” says OCW Director Curt Newton. “It’s clear that Gil’s teaching has struck just the right chord with learners and educators around the world.”
He also published his 12th book to accompany his latest class, 18.065 (Matrix Methods in Data Analysis, Signal Processing, and Machine Learning.)
Read more about Gil at MIT News.
May 9: Yunkun Zhou Receives Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Yunkun Zhou Receives Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Senior Yunkun Zhou has received the 2019 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
May 1: Kristin Kurianski Honored at MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Celebration
Kristin Kurianski Honored at MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Celebration
Doctoral student Kristin Marie-Dettmers Kurianski has been chosen as an honoree in the 2019 biennial celebration of Graduate Women of Excellence. The celebration by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education recognizes graduate women based on their leadership and service contributions at the Institute, their dedication to mentoring, and their drive to make changes to improve the student experience.
Kristin and others were recognized on April 29, where honorees presented posters on their accomplishments and future plans.
April 26: Peter Shor receives 2018 Micius Quantum Prize
Peter Shor receives 2018 Micius Quantum Prize
Professor Peter Shor receives the 2018 Micius Quantum Prize, "for his groundbreaking theoretical work on factoring algorithms and quantum error correction." The Micius Quantum Prize is given by the recently established Micius Quantum Foundation, in recognition of "significant science advance ranging from the early conceptual contributions to the recent experimental breakthroughs." Professor Shor is one of six Micius Quantum Prize recipients.
Read more at MIT News.
April 23: David Jerison Receives Guggenheim Fellowship
David Jerison Receives Guggenheim Fellowship
Professor David Jerison has been awarded a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is among 168 winners, chosen among nearly 3,000 applicants. David will use the fellowship to study interfaces that divide regions in optimal ways, such as those interfaces that minimize energy, cost, or loss of information.
Read more at MIT News.
April 12: Tanya Khovanova Selected for the School of Science Infinite Mile Award
Tanya Khovanova Selected for the School of Science Infinite Mile Award
Tanya is the head mentor of the math section of MIT's Research Science Institute (RSI), and since its inception in 2010, of MIT PRIMES. She was nominated for her exceptional ability to guide her colleagues and inspire them to attain goals.
April 12: Kim DeMayo and Jonathan Harmon to Receive Infinite Mile Awards
Kim DeMayo and Jonathan Harmon to Receive Infinite Mile Awards
Department Staff Members Kimberli DeMayo (Human Resources Coordinator) and Jonathan Harmon (Faculty Support) are among this year’s recipients of the School of Science Infinite Mile Award. Both were nominated in the "Beyond Expectations" category, consistently going above and beyond their job expectations.
Congratulations Kim and Jonathan!
March 26: Victor Kac Receives Simons Fellowship
Victor Kac Receives Simons Fellowship
Professor Victor Kac was awarded a 2019 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics.
Outstanding mathematicians recognized by the Simons Fellows program are able to extend sabbatical leaves from one term to a full year, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances. Victor will spend his 2019-2020 sabbatical at the University of Rome, La Sapienza.
March 22: Tom Leighton Wins Visionary Award
Tom Leighton Wins Visionary Award
Professor Tom Leighton PhD ’81 received SC Media's first ever Visionary award as Akamai Technologies' chief executive officer, at the 23rd annual SC Awards gala on March 6, 2019, in San Francisco. The Visionaries of the Last 30 Years category honors those who have shaped the industry and will serve to impact the future.
Akamai also took home the Best Web Application Solution award for its Kona Site Defender web application.
March 22: Semyon Dyatlov, Yufei Zhao, Larry Guth, Pei-Ken Hung and Zhouli Xu Receive ICCM Best Paper Awards
ICCM Recognizes Best Papers
Several in the MIT math community received Best Paper Awards from the 2018 International Consortium of Chinese Mathematicians in December. Awardees included:
- Semyon Dyatlov for the paper “Semiclassical measures on hyperbolic surfaces have full support,” which he wrote with Long Jin for Acta Mathematica
- Yufei Zhao, former professor Jacob Fox, and NSF postdoc fellow László Miklós Lovász for “On regularity lemmas and their algorithmic applications,” in Combinatorics Probability & Computing
- Larry Guth, with Xiumin Du and Xiaochun Li, “A sharp Schrödinger maximal estimate in R2” Annals of Mathematics
- CLE Moore Instructors Pei-Ken Hung and Zhouli Xu
March 22: Andrew Lawrie Receives the Edmund F. Kelly Award
Andrew Lawrie Receives the Edmund F. Kelly Award
The Edmund F. Kelly Research Award has been awarded to Assistant Professor Andrew Lawrie. Every three years, the mathematics department gives this award to a junior faculty member "in recognition of work that applies mathematical methods to a new area or that offers a fundamentally new perspective on a classical problem."
February 26: MIT Takes 2nd Place in Putnam Competition, Two Named Putnam Fellows
MIT Takes 2nd Place in Putnam Competition
In the 79th annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the team of Junyao Peng, Ashwin Sah, and Yunkun Zhou took second place, behind Harvard. Yuan Yao and Shengtong Zhang were among the five Putnam Fellows.
MIT took 9 of the next 10 top spots, including Danielle Wang, who will receive her second Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize. (Danielle recently was also a runner-up in the 2019 Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize from the AWM.)
Our students took 6 of the next 12 spots, and 28 out of 74 honorable mentions. In total, MIT students dominated in the demanding six-hour mathematics competition, taking 45 of the top 101 spots.
“I am super proud of our students' performance on the Putnam Competition,” said Yufei Zhao, our Putnam coach. “The number of high scorers from MIT shows the unparalleled strength of our undergraduate math community.”
Administered by the Mathematical Association of America on December 1, the competition included 164 MIT students among 4,623 test-takers from 568 U.S. and Canadian institutions.
Read more at MIT News.
February 26: Ewain Gwynne Named Clay Research Fellow
Ewain Gwynne Named Clay Research Fellow
Clay Research Fellows are recent PhDs who are selected for their research and their potential to become leaders in research mathematics.
Peter Hintz is also a Clay Research Fellow. Past fellows include professors Roman Bezrukavnikov, Alexei Borodin, Semyon Dyatlov, Davesh Maulik, and Aaron Pixton.
Congratulations Ewain (and Scott!).
February 22: Andrew Lawrie and Yufei Zhao Receive Sloan Fellowships
Andrew Lawrie and Yufei Zhao Receive Sloan Fellowships
Sloan Fellows are selected on “the basis of a candidate’s research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.”
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded 126 U.S. and Canadian early-career scientists and scholars $70,000 fellowships to be used to further their research.
Read more in the MIT News.
February 22: Bonnie Berger Receives ISCB Award
Bonnie Berger to Receive ISCB Award
Simons Professor of Mathematics Bonnie Berger has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the International Society for Computational Biology Senior Scientist Award.
ISCB is the premier society in computational biology and bioinformatics with 3,400 members. The ISCB annual award recognizes “highly significant, long-term career achievement,” in Bonnie’s case for visionary, foundational, and deep contributions to the field.
“It’s a tremendous honor to join such a distinguished and accomplished group of scientists,” Bonnie said.
She was also named an ISCB Fellow in 2012.
February 13: Mathematician Finds Balance and Beauty in Math
Mathematician Finds Balance and Beauty in Math
"It was a feeling of solving something that most people couldn’t solve, I think, that triggered my interest," said Zhiwei Yun, of being in third grade when he discovered an interest in math. Read about Zhiwei's transition into math research, why he came to MIT, and more in the MIT News.
January 30: Aden Forrow Receives 1851 Research Fellowship and Jonasz Slomka Receives ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship
Fellowships to Recent PhDs Forrow and Slomka
Aden was awarded an 1851 Research Fellowship by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Previous recipients include Paul Dirac and Peter Higgs. Aden will pursue his research program in applied mathematics at the University of Oxford. Aden worked with Jörn on “Functional Control of Network Dynamics Using Designed Laplacian Spectra,” published December 7, 2018, in Physical Review X.
Jonasz was awarded an ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship, and will be hosted by the group of Prof. Roman Stocker, a former MIT math instructor. Jonasz and Jörn collaborated on mirror-symmetry breaking and turbulence in active fluids, published in PNAS and Journal of Fluid Mechanics.
Congratulations Jonasz, Aden, and Jörn!
December 2018: PRIMES Alum Ravi Jagadeesan Earns Morgan Prize
PRIMES Alum Earns Morgan Prize
PRIMES alumnus Ravi Jagadeesan uses his bagel to explain the concept of a Riemann surface as part of his 2013 PRIMES presentation. Now a PhD student at Harvard, he received the 2019 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. In his acceptance note, Ravi thanked PRIMES and Pavel Etingof.
December 2018: Christian Gaetz, Zhulin Li, and Chris Ryba Named Lusztig Mentors
PRIMES Names Lusztig Mentors
Zhulin has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since January 2017.
Chris has served as a PRIMES and UROP+ mentor since 2017. His PRIMES student Mihir Singhal is a 2018 Regeneron STS scholar.
Congratulations to Christian, Zhulin, and Chris, and thank you Professor George Lusztig for making the Lusztig mentorship possible!
December 2018: Radha Mastandrea and Kyle Swanson Named 2019 Marshall Scholars
Radha Mastandrea and Kyle Swanson Named 2019 Marshall Scholars
Senior Radha Mastandrea and Kyle Swanson ’18 are among five MIT students awarded Marshall Scholarships.
Radha, a physics and mathematics double major*, will study theoretical and experimental physics at Cambridge University before returning to the United States to pursue her PhD in high-energy particle physics.
Kyle graduated with a double major in mathematics and computer science, and a minor in music, and will receive his MEng in computer science and engineering this spring. As a Marshall Scholar, Swanson will study mathematics and computer science at Cambridge.
*Radha has since withdrawn from being a math major
November 2018: Bonnie Berger, Larry Guth, Elchanan Mossel, Zhiwei Yun, and Wei Zhang Named 2019 AMS Fellows
Five Are Named 2019 AMS Fellows
They were recognized for “outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics,” with the following citations:
- Bonnie Berger for contributions to computational biology, bioinformatics, algorithms, and for mentoring;
- Larry Guth for contributions to harmonic analysis, combinatorics, and geometry, and for exposition of high-level mathematics;
- Elchanan Mossel for contributions to probability, combinatorics, computing, and especially the interface between them;
- Zhiwei Yun for contributions to geometry, number theory, and representation theory, including his construction of motives with exceptional Galois groups;
- Wei Zhang for contributions to number theory, algebraic geometry, and geometric representation theory.
Congratulations Bonnie, Larry, Elchanan, Zhiwei, and Wei!
October 2018: PRIMES Student Espen Slettnes Wins Broadcom Math Prize
PRIMES Student Wins Broadcom Math Prize
Espen is a home-schooled eighth grader from Castro Valley, California, who presented at the PRIMES conference in May. Espen’s project was "Minimal Embedding Dimensions of Rectangle k-Visibility Graphs," under mentor Jesse Geneson PhD ’15. Jesse and Espen will also have asteroids named in their honor by MIT Lincoln Lab, as part of the Ceres Connection program.
“Our PRIMES students continue to win all the top awards in the country, and they are getting even younger!” said Department Head Michel Goemans. “Congrats to Espen (and Jesse), and to Slava Gerovitch, Tanya Khovanova, and Pavel Etingof for creating and directing such an amazing, highly successful math enrichment program.”
October 2018: Chenyang Xu Wins New Horizons Prize
Chenyang Xu Wins New Horizons Prize
Chenyang Xu will receive a 2019 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize for his work on the Minimal Model Program in algebraic geometry.
The "early-career" version of the Breakthrough Prize is awarded to promising junior researchers who have already produced important work in mathematics.
Prior to joining our department this year, Chenyang was a professor at the Beijing International Center of Mathematical Research. He recently spoke at ICM 2018, and was awarded China’s inaugural Future Science Prize in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2017.
Read more about the winners and where to watch the awards ceremony at the MIT News.
October 2018: Vadim Gorin Receives Young Scientist Prize
Vadim Gorin Receives Young Scientist Prize
The award, received in July at International Association of Mathematical Physics’ International Congress on Mathematical Physics, in Montreal, Canada, is “for his groundbreaking work on the universality of local correlations in random tilings and nonintersecting random walks, and the discovery of locally interacting particle systems linked to random matrix ensembles.”
October 2018: Semyon Dyatlov Receives Early Career Awards
Semyon Dyatlov Receives Early Career Awards
Given in recognition of a single achievement in Mathematical Physics, this triennial award went to Semyon for his “introduction and the proof of the fractal uncertainty principle (FUP), which has important applications to quantum chaos and to observability and control of quantum systems.”
Semyon recently also received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences for “Classical and Quantum Chaos.”
September 2018: PRIMES-USA student Franklyn Wang and RSI Student David Wu Win Davidson Awards
PRIMES and RSI Students Win Davidson Awards
Two students participating in PRIMES and RSI recently received $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarships.
PRIMES-USA participant Franklyn Wang, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology and Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 finalist, won for solving a math problem that has puzzled mathematicians for nearly a century. Franklyn presented his findings in his paper "Monodromy Groups of Indecomposable Rational Functions," mentored by Prof. Michael Zieve of the University of Michigan.
David Wu, now an MIT freshman, wrote his paper under mentor and MIT doctoral student Robert Burklund, as part of the 2017 RSI math program class. The paper, “Nonuniform Distributions of Patterns of Sequences of Primes in Prime Moduli,” aims to improve methods for gathering data on prime number patterns by several orders of magnitude, and may be applied to cryptography and cybersecurity. David was also a 2017 Siemens semifinalist and a 2018 Regeneron STS finalist.
Three other PRIMES students earned honorable mentions: Ayush Agarwal of San Ramon, CA, Louis Golowich of Lexington, MA, and Michael Ma of Plano, TX.
The 2018 Davidson Fellows will be recognized in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. PRIMES and RSI programs last year were run by faculty advisors Pavel Etingof, David Jerison, and Ankur Moitra, program director Slava Gerovitch, and head mentor Tanya Khovanova.
August 2018: Ankur Moitra and Bill Minicozzi Earn School of Science Teaching Prizes
Ankur Moitra and Bill Minicozzi Earn School of Science Teaching Prizes
Ankur was awarded the prize for graduate education for a course he designed called “Algorithmic Aspects of Machine Learning” (18.S996/18.409). Notes from this class have been turned into a monograph, which has already been used in courses across the country. Nominators said Moitra distinguished himself as an inspirational, caring, and captivating teacher.
Bill was awarded the prize for undergraduate education for his teaching of “Multivariable Calculus” (18.02). Students consistently praised his clarity, ability to engage the class, and sense of humor. Nominators also noted his ability to treat difficult topics at an appropriate pace in his upper-level undergraduate courses.
The prizes are awarded annually to School of Science faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching. Winners are chosen from nominations by their students or colleagues.
Read more at the School of Science.
August 2018: Alan Edelman’s Julia 1.0 Debuts at Convention
Alan Edelman’s Julia 1.0 Debuts at Convention
“The release of 1.0 says that Julia is now ready to change the technical world by combining the high-level productivity and ease of use of Python and R with the lightning-fast speed of C++,” said Alan, in a CSAIL article.
Julia, used by technical coders at such places as Google, Facebook, and the Department of Energy, has helped power self-driving cars and MIT robots, and used in such fields as precision medicine, augmented reality, and genomics.
See CSAIL’s article on Julia 1.0.
See YouTube video “A Conversation with Gilbert Strang,” where Gil spoke at JuliaCon about linear algebra and computational math.
Listen to Alan talk about Julia 1.0 with WBUR.
August 2018: Jörn Dunkel and Others Solve Age-old Spaghetti Mystery
Jörn Dunkel and Others Solve Age-old Spaghetti Mystery
If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again. Can you break the noodle in two? If not, you’re in very good company.
It’s nearly impossible to break a dry spaghetti noodle into only two pieces. Showing how it’s done is an MIT study by Jörn Dunkel, his graduate student Vishal Patil, instructor Norbert Stoop, and others.
The spaghetti challenge, which flummoxed even the likes of famed physicist Richard Feynman ’39, was solved in their paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read more on MIT News.
August 2018: 2018 Rogers Prize Shared by Three Teams
2018 Rogers Prize Shared by Three Teams
SPUR student Julius Baldauf-Lenschen and mentor Ao Sun were awarded “for a sharp lower bound for the entropy of immersed curves with type 1 singularities and an excellent, clear presentation.” The project was suggested by Bill Minicozzi.
SPUR+ students Juan Gil and Joshua Amaniampong and mentor Jake Wellens, who suggested the project, were awarded "for new theoretical applications of partial rejection sampling and their practical implementation."
SPUR student Dhruv Rohatgi and mentor Jake Wellens were awarded "for elegant design constructions, their application to bi-partite clique partitions and for novel contributions to ordered Ramsey theory." The project was suggested by Asaf Ferber.
Congratulations to all of the students and mentors. We also appreciate everyone who helped out, including those who provided ideas for the projects, all of the mentors, SPUR/SPUR+ faculty advisers Davesh Maulik and Ankur Moitra, and the program director, Slava Gerovitch, along with the Rogers family for their support of this program.
July 2018: Peter Shor Receives the IEEE Sumner Award and Information Theory Society Paper Award
Peter Shor Receives the IEEE Sumner Award and Information Theory Society Paper Award
Peter Shor has been awarded the IEEE’s 2018 Eric E. Sumner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Communications Theory, specifically "for contributions to quantum communication and information theory."
He also received the 2017 Information Theory Society Paper Award for "The Quantum Reverse Shannon Theorem and Resource Tradeoffs for Simulating Quantum Channels," IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, May 2014, which he wrote with MIT Physics Professor Aram Harrow, Charles Bennett, Igor Devetak, and Andreas Winter. This award is given annually for an outstanding publication in the fields of interest to the Society appearing anywhere during the preceding four calendar years.
July 2018: Zhao Receives the School of Science Future of Science Award, 2018 Dénes König Prize, and Named Class of 1956 Career Development Assistant Professor
Zhao Receives the School of Science Future of Science Award, and Other Distinctions
Yufei Zhao has been named the second recipient of the School of Science’s Future of Science Award. Among other research accomplishments, Yufei with three undergraduates solved an open problem concerning the number of independent sets in an irregular graph—a conjecture first proposed in 2001.
Yufei was also recently named the Class of 1956 Career Development Assistant Professor, effective July 2018. Last month, SIAM awarded Yufei the 2018 Dénes König Prize, given biennially to an early career researcher for outstanding research in discrete mathematics.
“Yufei exemplifies the best of our faculty members,” says Department Head Michel Goemans. “He is a skilled, creative researcher who is also an outstanding teacher and mentor both in and outside the classroom.”
July 2018: Jonathan Kelner Promoted to Professor of Applied Mathematics
Jonathan Kelner Promoted to Professor of Applied Mathematics
Jonathan Kelner has been promoted from Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics to Professor of Applied Mathematics.
June 2018: Pavel Etingof Earns MIT’s Perkins Award
Pavel Etingof Earns MIT’s Perkins Award
Professor Pavel Etingof has been awarded MIT’s Frank E. Perkins award for Excellence in Graduate Advising. Named in honor of Frank E. Perkins, Dean of the Graduate School from 1983-85, this award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates unbounded compassion and dedication toward students. He also earned this award in 2015.
June 2018: David Jerison Receives Simons Fellowship
June 2018: Congratulations To Our New PhDs in Mathematics!
May 2018: Ewain Gwynne, Jonasz Slomka, Amelia Perry and Alex Wein Earn 2018 Johnson Prize
Four Earn 2018 Johnson Prize
The Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal went to four students in 2018:
- Ewain Gwynne
Almost sure multifractal spectrum of SLE
Duke Mathematical Journal
- Jonasz Slomka
Spontaneous mirror-symmetry breaking induces inverse energy cascade in 3D active fluids
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Amelia Perry and Alex Wein
Optimality and Sub-optimality of PCA for Spiked Random Matrices and Synchronization
Annals of Statistics
May 2018: Kevin Sackel and Jane Wang Receive Housman Awards
Kevin Sackel and Jane Wang Receive Housman Awards
Graduate students Kevin Sackel and Jane Wang have each been awarded the Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
Congratulations Kevin and Jane!
May 2018: Sammy Luo Receives Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Sammy Luo Receives Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Math major Sammy Luo '18 received the 2018 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
May 2018: Bertrand Stone ’18 Receives Sudler Prize
April 2018: Theresa Cummings Receives Infinite Mile Award
Theresa Cummings Receives Infinite Mile Award
Academic Services staffer Theresa Cummings is one of this year’s recipients of the School of Science Infinite Mile Award. Theresa was nominated for the “Beyond Expectation Award,” for consistently going above and beyond the requirements of her job to make the Math Department a better place.
Theresa manages the complex enterprise surrounding the department's massive service courses (18.01, 18.02, 18.03, ...), as well as managing all of the make-up, conflict, special-needs, and advanced standing exams, and a host of other special topics. She is also an important point of contact with the Registrar’s Office, Student Disability Services, the UAAP, GECD, and other departments.
April 2018: Alexei Borodin and Larry Guth Named AAAS Fellows
Alexei Borodin and Larry Guth Named AAAS Fellows
Alexei Borodin and Larry Guth have been elected as Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With members including many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide, the American Academy is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers.
Congratulations Alexei and Larry!
April 2018: Gigliola Staffilani Receives MIT's Earll M. Murman Award
Gigliola Staffilani Receives MIT's Earll M. Murman Award
Gigliola Staffilani is this year’s recipient of the Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.
The award is "presented to a faculty member who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for undergraduates and who has had a significant impact on their personal lives and academic success."
The award was presented at the 2018 Awards Convocation Thursday, May 10 in the Samberg Center.
April 2018: MIT Math Ranks Highly in QS World, U.S News
MIT Math Ranks Highly in QS World, U.S News
The Mathematics Department ranked first in the QS World University Rankings for 2018. (MIT also received a number 1 ranking in 11 other subject areas.)
Quacquarelli Symonds Limited subject rankings, published annually, are designed to help prospective students find the leading schools in their field of interest. Rankings cover 48 disciplines and are based on an institute’s research quality and accomplishments, academic reputation, and graduate employment.
The Department’s PhD program tied with Harvard, Stanford and U.C. Berkeley for a No. 2 spot (following Princeton at No. 1) in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 rankings. U.S. News last ranked the nation’s top PhD programs in the sciences in 2014, when mathematics tied with Princeton University for the No. 1 spot.
April 2018: Chord Sculpture Recognized for Innovative Design
Chord Sculpture Recognized for Innovative Design
Projects such as Chord selected for recognition will be announced at the 2018 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Baltimore on April 11. Awards will be presented to the submitting firms and their project team at the individual project sites in the spring and summer of 2018. And winning projects will be featured in the May issue of Modern Steel Construction magazine.
Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) “recognizes projects where structural steel has been utilized in an innovative manner.”
The sculpture was installed on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the building, as a percent-for-art project in association with the Simons renovations.
March 2018: Tom Leighton wins 2018 Marconi Prize
Tom Leighton wins 2018 Marconi Prize
Professor Tom Leighton has been selected to receive the 2018 Marconi Prize. The Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the Internet, is honoring Leighton for his fundamental contributions to technology and the establishment of the content delivery network (CDN) industry.
Leighton ’81, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and a member of CSAIL, will be awarded at The Marconi Society’s annual awards dinner in Bologna, Italy, on Oct. 2.
“Being recognized by the Marconi Society is an incredible honor,” said Leighton. “It’s an honor not just for me, but also for Danny Lewin, who created this company with me, and for all of the people at Akamai who have worked so hard for over two decades to make this technology real so that the internet can scale to be a secure and affordable platform where entertainment, business, and life are enabled to reach unimagined potential."
Congratulations Tom! Read more in the MIT News.
March 2018: Ankur Moitra Receives Young Investigator Award
Ankur Moitra Receives Young Investigator Award
Congratulations to Ankur Moitra for receiving the 2018 Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for his proposed research "An Algorithmic Theory of Robustness." His research falls under ONR's Mathematical Data Science program.
Ankur was one of 31 scientists "awarded for research that holds strong promise across a wide range of naval-relevant science and technology areas."
February 2018: Alexei Borodin Receives Inaugural Alexanderson Award
Alexei Borodin Receives Inaugural Alexanderson Award
Alexei Borodin, jointly with Ivan Corwin and Patrik Ferrari, received the inaugural Alexanderson Award for their article "Free energy fluctuations for directed polymers in random media in 1+1 dimensions," Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics, 67 (2014). This work began during the October 2011 AIM workshop "The Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation and universality class."
The American Institute of Mathematics' award is given in honor of Gerald Alexanderson, Professor of Mathematics at Santa Clara University and founding chair of the AIM Board of Trustees. The Alexanderson Award recognizes outstanding research articles arising from AIM research activities that have been published within the past three years.
February 2018: Yufei Zhao Receives Dénes König Prize
Yufei Zhao Receives Dénes König Prize
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Yufei Zhao, SB '10, PhD '15, who is the 2018 recipient of the Dénes König Prize.
His award is based on the paper he co-authored with David Conlon and Jacob Fox, "A relative Szemerédi theorem," published in Geometric and Functional Analysis 25 (2015). This paper was completed during his PhD at MIT.
The König Prize will be awarded at the SIAM Conference on Discrete Mathematics, to be held June 4-8 at the University of Colorado, in Denver, Colorado.
The SIAM Activity Group on Discrete Mathematics (SIAG/DM) Dénes König Prize is awarded biennially to an early career researcher or early career researchers for outstanding research in an area of discrete mathematics, based on a publication in the three calendar years prior to the year of the award.
February 2018: MIT Team Wins Putnam, Five Named Putnam Fellows
MIT Team Wins Putnam, Five Named Putnam Fellows
The results of the 78th annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition:
Our 1st Place Team:
Allen Liu, Sammy Luo, and Yunkun Zhou.
Our Putnam Fellows:
Omer Cerrahoglu, Jiyang Gao, Junyao Peng, Ashwin Sah, and Yunkun Zhou.
MIT students were among 4,638 test-takers from 575 institutions last December, and once again produced the highest number of top individual scorers. In addition to having the 1st place team and 5 out of the 6 highest ranking individuals named Putnam Fellows, MIT had 5 of the next 9 top scorers, and 7 of the next 10. In addition, 21 out of 74 students who received honorable mention were from MIT. In total, 38 out of 100 top scorers are MIT students.
This is our fourth time in the past five years that the MIT team ranked first.
February 2018: Andrei Neguț and Tristan Collins Receive Sloan Fellowship
Andrei Neguț and Tristan Collins Receive Sloan Fellowship
Congratulations to Andrei Neguț and Tristan Collins, who were among those awarded a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship. Andrei has been an assistant professor with us since 2015, and Tristan will be joining us as assistant professor this fall. Andrei was among eight MIT researchers from six departments who were awarded 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded 126 American and Canadian researchers fellowships that are given to early-career scientists and scholars identified as rising stars among the next generation of scientific leaders. Fellows receive $65,000 to be used to further their research.
Congratulations Andrei and Tristan!
January 2018: James Munkres Named AMS Fellow
January 2018: Michael Sipser Named ACM Fellow
Michael Sipser Named ACM Fellow
Sipser has made numerous contributions to complexity theory, and in particular on circuit complexity, multi-interactive proof systems, the use of expanders, and quantum computing.
He will be recognized at the ACM’s annual awards banquet June 23, 2018, in San Francisco, California.
A member of CSAIL and the Donner Professor of Mathematics, Mike received the MIT Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellowship in 2016 in recognition of his commitment to undergraduate education. He also received the Irwin Sizer Award from the MIT Graduate School Council for the development with Professor Tom Leighton of the 18C major Mathematics with Computer Science. Mike is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Mathematical Society.
January 2018: Lucas Mason-Brown Hosts Anti-Discrimination Conference
Lucas Mason-Brown Hosts Anti-Discrimination Conference
Calculating the cost of tech-fueled discrimination, MIT mathematics graduate student Lucas Mason-Brown’s Data for Black Lives conference provided numbers behind the technologies that enable exclusion.
January 2018: PRIMES Students Franklyn Wang, Swapnil Garg, and Anlin Zhang Awarded at Siemens finals
PRIMES students awarded at Siemens finals
MIT PRIMES program participant Franklyn Wang took second place at the final 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology on Dec. 5. Franklyn, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, is part of the MIT PRIMES-USA distance mentoring math research program, in which high school students complete a challenging math research project over 12 months. His $50,000 award was for solving a longstanding mathematical problem that has a wide range of potential applications.
PRIMES students Swapnil Garg and his team and Anlin Zhang and her team were also finalists and earned $25,000 scholarships at the National Finals, which were held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., December 1-5, 2017.
This year, PRIMES has collected 28 Siemens Competition awards: 21 semifinalists, 4 regional finalists, and 3 national finalists (including the second place winner).
For the full list of PRIMES honors and awards, please visit the PRIMES web page.
Congratulations to Franklyn, Swapnil, and Anlin!
December 2017: Zhenkun Li, Gwen McKinley, and Ao Sun Named Lusztig Mentors
PRIMES Names Lusztig Mentors
For the upcoming year, Zhenkun Li, Gwen McKinley, and Ao Sun have been selected as 2018 George Lusztig PRIMES mentors.
Zhenkun has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2016. His RSI 2016 student Dona-Maria Ivanova won the Fourth Award in Math at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2017. Gwen was the √mathroots program director from 2016 to 2017, and in 2017 she was honored as one of MIT's Graduate Women of Excellence. Ao has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2016.
Professor George Lusztig used a significant part of his 2014 Shaw Prize in mathematics to help endow the PRIMES mentorships, which recognize math doctoral candidates who offer exceptional mentoring to high school students involved in the PRIMES program.
Congratulations to Zhenkun, Gwen, and Ao, and thank you George for making the Lusztig mentorship possible!
December 2017: Alan Edelman Named IEEE Fellow
Alan Edelman Named IEEE Fellow
Alan Edelman PhD ’89, an Applied Mathematics professor in the Department of Mathematics at MIT, has been named a 2018 Fellow of the IEEE for his "contributions to the development of technical-computing languages," namely the Julia language for numerical/scientific computing.
“It is a great pleasure for me to see the Julia project being recognized. For me, this is about the thousands of contributors,” Edelman said. “Often software is not recognized in academic environments as research, but this is clearly changing.”
Julia is widely described as being the solution to “The Two Language Problem,” where a high-level language is easier to use, but is not suitable for “real world” use—people needed to prototype in one language, but then need to translate to another language for performance in serial, in parallel, or on GPUs. Created with Jeff Bezanson PhD ’15, Stefan Karpinski, and Viral Shah, Julia is now used worldwide in businesses, classes, and in research.
The next JuliaCon will be Aug. 7-11, 2018, in London. Edelman has served as executive chair for JuliaCon from 2015-2017, and remains on the committee.
December 2017: Wei Zhang and Zhiwei Yun Awarded 2018 New Horizons in Mathematics Breakthrough Prize
Wei Zhang and Zhiwei Yun Awarded 2018 New Horizons in Mathematics Breakthrough Prize
Professors Wei Zhang and Zhiwei Yun have been awarded the New Horizons in Mathematics Breakthrough Prize, which is given to promising junior researchers who have already produced important work in mathematics. The team of Wei and Zhiwei were recognized Sunday “for deep work on the global Gan-Gross-Prasad conjecture and their discovery of geometric interpretations for the higher derivatives of L-functions in the function field case.” Zhiwei, currently a professor at Yale University, will be joining the Department of Mathematics next month. “I am delighted that the joint work of these two recently hired faculty members is being recognized by this prestigious award,” said Interim Department Head Michel Goemans, who attended the ceremony. “Their work on the Taylor expansion of L-functions constitutes the most important progress in 30 years towards the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, one of the seven Clay Millenium problems.”
Applied Mathematics doctoral candidate and former NFL player John Urschel was a presenter at the ceremony, which was held at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
Larry Guth won the 2016 New Horizons in Mathematics prize for “ingenious and surprising solutions to longstanding open problems in symplectic geometry, Riemannian geometry, harmonic analysis, and combinatorial geometry.”
November 2017: Henry Cohn Receives Conant Prize
Henry Cohn Receives Conant Prize
Adjunct Professor Henry Cohn received the 2018 Levi L. Conant Prize from the American Mathematical Society at the Joint Math Meeting for his article "A Conceptual Breakthrough in Sphere Packing," published in the February 2017 issue of the Notices of the AMS. Henry is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New England, and his research interests include discrete mathematics, broadly interpreted. Professor David Vogan received the Levi L. Conant Prize in 2011.
“It's a pleasure and an honor to receive the 2018 Levi L. Conant Prize,” said Henry. “The /E/_8 and Leech lattices are fascinating objects, and I hope readers will grow to love them as much as I do.”
Describing Henry’s award, the AMS announcement stated: “In 2016, Maryna Viazovska gave an astounding solution to the sphere packing problem in dimension 8. Just a week later, (Abhinav) Kumar, (Stephen D.) Miller, (Danylo) Radchenko, and Viazovska solved the sphere packing problem in dimension 24 by similar ideas. Cohn's article unfolds the dramatic story behind these proofs. What is special about 8 and 24 that makes the proof work only in these dimensions? The answer is that there are truly extraordinary sphere packings in these dimensions, arising from the /E/_8 lattice in dimension 8 that appears in Lie theory, and the Leech lattice in dimension 24 that is so closely connected with finite simple sporadic groups.”
November 2017: John Urschel Will Be Presenter at Dec. 3 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony
John Urschel Will Be Presenter at Dec. 3 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony
"I think I'm more honored than anything to be thought of as someone who should present such an award," said Urschel.
The Breakthrough honors top achievements in the fields of mathematics, fundamental physics, and life sciences. Larry Guth won the 2016 New Horizons in Mathematics prize for "ingenious and surprising solutions to longstanding open problems in symplectic geometry, Riemannian geometry, harmonic analysis, and combinatorial geometry."
Held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, the event will be livestreamed at 10pm(EST)/7pm(PST) on Breakthrough Facebook, Breakthrough YouTube, National Geographic Facebook and National Geographic YouTube.
Urschel’s fellow presenters will be actors Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Kerry Washington, and the event will be hosted by actor Morgan Freeman. The Breakthrough Prize is presented by founders Sergey Brin (Google), Yuri Milner (DST Global) and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Priscilla Chan (Chan Zuckerberg Initiatives), and Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), along with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.
November 2017: A Mathematician Who Dances to the Joys and Sorrows of Discovery
A Mathematician Who Dances to the Joys and Sorrows of Discovery
Federico Ardila (SB '98, PhD '03), a math professor at San Francisco State University, opens up to Quanta magazine about his journey as a mathematician, teacher, Colombian transplant, DJ, and creator of mathematical spaces.
“Had I known what MIT was, I should have known not to apply. There is no way I should have applied with that kind of transcript…I like telling this story to my students because I think we often close doors to ourselves by thinking that we’re not eligible or that we’re not good enough. And especially if you’re somebody who feels ‘othered’ in your discipline or who feels like you’re lacking confidence, it’s easy to close doors on yourself. There’s a lot of people in life who are ready to close doors for you, so you can’t do it for yourself.”
November 2017: John Bush’s study explains how droplets “levitate” on liquid surfaces
John Bush’s study explains how droplets “levitate” on liquid surfaces
A drop or two of cold cream in hot coffee can go a long way toward improving one’s morning. But what if the two liquids didn’t mix? MIT scientists have now explained why under certain conditions a droplet of liquid should not coalesce with the liquid surface below. If the droplet is very cold, and the bath sufficiently hot, then the droplet should “levitate” on the bath’s surface, as a result of the flows induced by the temperature difference.
Professor John Bush is a member of the team, whose results, published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, offer a detailed, mathematical understanding of drop coalescence, which can be observed in everyday phenomena, from milk poured in coffee to raindrops skittering across puddles, and sprays created in surf zones.
November 2017: Giulia Saccà Receives Molteni Award
Giulia Saccà Receives Molteni Award
Assistant Professor Giulia Saccà received the Anna Maria Molteni Award in Mathematics and Physics for her research on hyper-Kähler geometries. She was among five young Italian researchers working in North America who received 2017 ISSNAF Awards on November 8 at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation) acknowledges young Italian researchers by presenting the ISSNAF Awards for Young Investigators in five subjects and awarding the winner in each category with a $3,000 prize.
Read more about the award on our Women in Mathematics page.
November 2017: PRIMES Students Franklyn Wang, Swapnil Garg, and Anlin Zhang Advance in Siemens Competition
Three PRIMES Contestants Advance In Siemens Competition
The MIT PRIMES program has three students among the national finalists in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.
The finalists are PRIMES students Swapnil Garg and his team; Anlin Zhang and her team; and Franklyn Wang (in the individual category). The Regional Finals were held at MIT along with five other schools earlier this month. Winners of the regional events will advance to the National Finals to be held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., December 4-5, 2017.
So far, PRIMES student contestants took home 28 Siemens Competition awards this year, consisting of 21 semifinalists, 4 regional finalists and 3 national finalists.
PRIMES/RSI/SPUR Director Slava Gerovitch congratulated PRIMES chief research advisor Pavel Etingof, head mentor Tanya Khovanova, and the MIT mentors Jesse Freeman, Chiheon Kim, Younhun Kim, Xiaomeng Xu, and Lusztig PRIMES mentor Guangyi Yue for their dedication and hard work.
For the full list of PRIMES honors and awards, please visit the PRIMES web page.
November 2017: 27 PRIMES Contestants Take Home Siemens Competition Awards
27 PRIMES Contestants Take Home Siemens Competition Awards
This year’s MIT PRIMES contestants took home more than twice as many awards than last year as they made it past the first round of the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.
With 20 semifinalists and 7 regional finalists, PRIMES student contestants took home 27 Siemens Competition awards this year, compared with 12 in 2016 and in 2015. They were chosen from a pool of more than 1,860 projects submitted this year.
The 101 regional finalists will now advance to the next round of the competition – the Regional Finals, in one of six regional competitions virtually hosted over three consecutive weekends in November at MIT November 3-4, along with five other schools.
PRIMES/RSI/SPUR Director Slava Gerovitch congratulated PRIMES chief research advisor Pavel Etingof, head mentor Tanya Khovanova, and the MIT mentors Jesse Freeman, Chiheon Kim, Younhun Kim, Xiaomeng Xu, and Lusztig PRIMES mentor Guangyi Yue for their dedication and hard work.
For the full list of PRIMES honors and awards, please visit the PRIMES web page.
October 2017: Hilary Finucane Receives NIH Award
Hilary Finucane Receives NIH Award
Broad Institute Fellow Hilary Finucane PhD ’17 received the Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. In June 2017, she completed her PhD in applied math; her research was in statistical genetics, and she was advised by Alkes Price. Hilary also recently contributed to “Association analysis identifies 65 new breast cancer risk loci” in Advance Online Publication (AOP) on www.nature.com.
Read more about Hilary on our Women in Mathematics page.
October 2017: 2017 Math Prize for Girls
2017 Math Prize for Girls
Congratulations to the winners of the 9th annual Math Prize for Girls contest, which took place on Saturday, September 24, 2017 at MIT. The competition drew 266 girls from across the US and Canada to compete for $55,000 in cash prizes. Gigliola Staffilani and School of Science Dean Michael Sipser are among the board of advisors for this event, which is held by Advantage Testing Foundation.
Read more about the competition on our Women in Mathematics page.
October 2017: Minicozzi, Sheffield, and Pixton awarded chairs
Minicozzi, Sheffield, and Pixton awarded chairs
Bill Minicozzi now holds the Singer Professorship in Mathematics, a chair that was recently held by Tom Mrowka, and previously by Dan Stroock. This was established by the James and Marilyn Simons Professorship Fund in 1999, in honor of Institute Professor and Abel Prize winner Isadore Singer. Formerly named the Simons Distinguished Professorship of Mathematics until Professor Singer’s retirement, it was renamed in 2010.
Scott Sheffield has been awarded the Leighton Family Professorship in Mathematics, a chair previously held by Michel Goemans. The chair was established in 2007 by the Leighton Family Fund.
Both chairs are for five years, renewable once.
Aaron Pixton has received the Class of 1957 Career Development chair for a three-year term. This is an Institute chair for a junior faculty member.
Congratulations Bill, Scott, and Aaron!
October 2017: Math Dept Welcomes Four Professors
Math Dept Welcomes Four Professors
Wei Zhang is a number theorist who works in arithmetic geometry. He received his PhD from Columbia University in 2009 under Shouwu Zhang, took a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, and was a professor at Columbia University. He is the recipient of the 2010 SASTRA Ramanujan prize. Together, Zhiwei Yun and Wei Zhang have made some exciting progress toward the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture in number theory, by characterizing higher derivatives of L-functions in the number field case.
Zhiwei Yun’s work is in representation theory, number theory, and algebraic geometry, and specifically the Langlands program. He received his PhD from Princeton University under Bob MacPherson in 2009, was a CLE Moore Instructor at MIT, and held faculty positions at Stanford and Yale. He is a Packard Fellow and received the 2012 SASTRA Ramanujan prize. He will start at MIT in the spring.
Yufei Zhao works in extremal, probabilistic, and additive combinatorics. He received his MIT PhD under Jacob Fox in 2015, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford. Yufei is currently teaching the Putnam seminar 18.A34 and Graph Theory and Additive Combinatorics, 18.S997.
September 2017: Chenyang Xu Awarded Future Science Prize
Chenyang Xu awarded Future Science Prize
Chenyang Xu, an algebraic geometer who will join our Department as Full Professor in Fall 2018, received the 2017 Future Science Prize in Mathematics & Computer Science at a ceremony in Beijing on October 29, 2017. He was recognized for his contributions to birational algebraic geometry.
The purpose of the Future Science Prize is to reward scientists that have made outstanding contributions to science and technology in Greater China. It is referred to as China's new Nobel Prize. This non-governmental prize was established last year in Life Science and in Physical Science, but Chenyang wins the inaugural Future Prize in Mathematics & Computer Science.
September 2017: PRIMES student Felix Wang Named Davidson Fellow
PRIMES student Felix Wang named Davidson Fellow
PRIMES student Felix Wang, 18, of Newton, has been chosen as a 2017 Davidson Fellow with a $25,000 scholarship award for his paper, "Functional equations in Complex Analysis and Number Theory." He is one of only 20 students across the country to receive this honor. Felix, a rising college freshman at Stanford University and graduate of Roxbury Latin in West Roxbury, thanked his PRIMES mentors Pavel Etingof and Tanya Khovanova, along with grad student Thao Do and University of Michigan Professor Michael Zieve. "Both mentors provided tremendous assistance, and have always inspired and motivated me," Felix said. “I am unbelievably excited and honored to be a Davidson Fellow,” said Wang. “Mathematics has fascinated me since childhood. In middle school, I spent countless hours poring over textbooks in preparation for various math competitions, but by the time I reached high school, my interest in learning math to win competitions had faded. I searched for a more challenging and more fulfilling way to use my talents, and decided to attempt mathematics research.” He credits PRIMES as the program that fulfilled his need for a challenge.
Congratulations PRIMES and Felix!
September 2017: ICM 2018 Speakers Include Tom Mrowka, Bjorn Poonen, Alex Postnikov, Chenyang Xu, Zhiwei Yun, and Wei Zhang
ICM 2018 speakers include Tom Mrowka, Bjorn Poonen, Alex Postnikov, Chenyang Xu, Zhiwei Yun, and Wei Zhang
Tom Mrowka will deliver a plenary address at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2018, which will be held August 1-9, 2018, in Rio de Janeiro.
Other MIT math faculty invited to speak at ICM 2018 include Bjorn Poonen and our new full professor Wei Zhang in the Number Theory section; new professors Zhiwei Yun and Chenyang Xu in the Algebraic and Complex Geometry section; and Alex Postnikov in the Combinatorics section. Meeting every four years, ICM is where the Fields medals are awarded.
August 2017: Scott Sheffield Wins Clay Research Award
Scott Sheffield Wins Clay Research Award
The Clay Mathematics Institute presented Jason Miller and Scott Sheffield with the 2017 Clay Research Award, for their groundbreaking and conceptually novel work on the geometry of the Gaussian free field and its application to the solution of open problems in the theory of two-dimensional random structures. The award is "in recognition of their introduction of a novel geometric combinatorial method to study doubling properties of solutions to elliptic eigenvalue problems” (full citation). Scott Sheffield holds the Leighton Family Chair in Mathematics at MIT since July 2017. Jason Miller is at the University of Cambridge, and was a Schramm Fellow and an NSF Fellow at MIT under Scott’s mentorship. For those who missed it, Quanta magazine recently wrote about their research in “A Unified Theory of Randomness.”
August 2017: Peter Shor Awarded 2017 Dirac Medal
Peter Shor awarded 2017 Dirac Medal
Peter Shor received the 2017 Dirac Medal from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, along with Charles Bennett of IBM and David Deutsch of Oxford. Peter was recognized for his groundbreaking work in quantum computation, including his quantum factoring algorithm, quantum error-correcting codes, and quantum fault-tolerant computation. The award was announced on August 8, the 115th anniversary of Paul Dirac’s birth. Earlier recipients of the medal include Emeritus Professor Dan Freedman and several MIT physicists.
August 2017: Daniel Freedman’s Work on Neutrino Scattering is Confirmed 40 Years Later
Daniel Freedman’s work on neutrino scattering is confirmed 40 years later
Before his arrival at MIT, Daniel Freedman wrote "Coherent Effects of a Weak Neutral Current," which appeared in the 1974 issue of Physical Review. His paper proposed the process called coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering, specifically pointing out that it had a much larger strength than other neutrino reactions.
Dan, a theoretical physicist emeritus in the Applied Mathematics division, recently received a pleasant surprise—more than 40 years later. “I received a message from the head of an experimental collaboration of about 80 physicists telling me that the experiment had finally been realized and confirmed my prediction.”
The results of their research were detailed in an article in the latest SCIENCE magazine, “Milk jug–sized detector captures neutrinos in a whole new way.” In the article, the team describes using a device the size of a milk jug in order to observe the neutrinos scattering off atomic nuclei. This development may lead to portable neutrino detectors at nuclear facilities.
July 2017: 2017 Rogers Prize Split by Two Teams
2017 Rogers prize split by two teams
The 2017 Hartley Rogers Jr. Family Prize for the best SPUR paper was awarded to two teams, to be split evenly, as decided by the faculty committee (Andrew Lawrie, George Lusztig, and Elchanan Mossel).
Justin Lim and his mentor Frederic Koehler were awarded for their “elegant analysis and presentation of spanning Maker-Breaker games.” The project, “Building Forests in Maker-Breaker Games: Upper and Lower Bounds,” was suggested by Asaf Ferber.
Jianqiao Xia and his mentor Gus Lonergan were awarded for a “penetrating study of the intersection pattern of irreducible components of Springer fibers coming from two-row partitions.” The project, “Topology of Two-Row Type Springer Fibers,” was suggested by Roman Bezrukavnikov.
Congratulations to all of the students, mentors, and faculty who provided projects, and thanks to all mentors, SPUR faculty advisors David Jerison and Ankur Moitra, SPUR+ coordinator Cris Negron, and the program director, Slava Gerovitch, along with the Rogers family for their support of this program.
July 2017: Lucas Mason-Brown Named 2017 Echoing Green Fellow
Lucas Mason-Brown named 2017 Echoing Green Fellow
Math grad student Lucas Mason-Brown has been named one of 35 Echoing Green Fellows for his work with Data for Black Lives (D4BL), an organization he recently co-founded to mobilize scientists to use data science to fight racial bias in real estate, finance, criminal justice, and other areas.
Congratulations Lucas!Read more at the MIT News
July 2017: SPUR/RSI Lecture Series Wraps up with Conference Aug. 4
SPUR/RSI lecture series wraps up with Conference Aug. 4
To a packed classroom, Prof. John Bush kicked off the summer SPUR/RSI lecture series with his lecture "Hydrodynamic Quantum Analogs." Led by SPUR/RSI faculty advisors David Jerison and Ankur Moitra, the afternoon series concludes with the SPUR Program Conference, featuring presentations by 13 undergraduates. Students in the program work full time for six weeks on original individual or joint research projects, as mentored by a math grad student, and at the conference, the undergraduates present their papers to mentors, peers, and a panel of faculty members.
July 2017: Alum Mitch Rothstein Returns to MIT to Claim Throne
Alum Mitch Rothstein returns to MIT to claim throne
Mitch Rothstein ’77 played the title character in the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble production of King John. “I know of no other example of a college repertory company mounting a production with both current students and 40 years of alumni,” said Mitch, now a math professor at the University of Georgia and one of the ensemble’s first actors. The cast and crew included four current students and 19 alumni that have graduated as far back as 1974.Read more at The Slice
July 2017: Allan Gottlieb ’67, Returns for 50th Reunion, and Profiled for His Work as the Puzzle Keeper
Allan Gottlieb ’67, returns for 50th reunion, and profiled for his work as the Puzzle Keeper
Allan Gottlieb ’67, a pioneer in parallel computing and New York University professor, recently celebrated his 50th reunion this week at MIT. But since he was a junior in the math department he’s been creating The Puzzle Corner, a math and puzzle column that still appears in MIT Technology Review magazine. Gottlieb, who was profiled by Tech Review in 2015, spoke to Slice of MIT about the evolution of the Puzzle Corner.Read more at the MIT News
July 2017: Profile of a Math Senior: Raul Boquin
Profile of a Math Senior: Raul Boquin
MIT Senior Raul Boquin remembers the assignment from his freshman year as if it were yesterday. During a leadership workshop, he was asked to write a headline for a newspaper in his imagined future. The words that came to mind resonated so strongly that they now hang on the walls of his dorm room: “Equal opportunities in education for all.”Read more at the MIT News
July 2017: The Double Life of Doctoral Candidate and NFL Pro John Urschel
The Double Life of Doctoral Candidate and NFL Pro John Urschel
In the United States, the set of professional football players has about 1,700 members, and set the PhD candidates in math also has thousands of members. In 2017, the intersection of these sets is a singleton. On an overcast day in late winter, that unique element is in the Norbert Wiener Common Room in MIT’s Department of Mathematics, where John Urschel is sitting at a table, chatting. Urschel is an offensive lineman with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, a three-year pro with 40 regular-season games played and a couple of playoff starts on his football résumé. He is also a doctoral candidate in math at MIT who has passed his qualifying exams and has nine published or accepted research papers on his academic résumé.Read more at Technology Review
Urschel recently announced his retirement from his football career, and will concentrate full-time on earning his PhD. His announcement came days after the release of a Boston University study showing the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease.
June 2017: Welcome New Graduate Students!
Welcome new graduate students!
We are welcoming 19 new students into our graduate program.
Coming from around the world, 4 are from China, 3 from Russia, 2 from Hong Kong; and others are from Thailand, Singapore, Romania, Great Britain and Colombia. Thirteen are pure math, and six are applied math. Four are women.
Four from MIT are Robert Burklund, algebraic topology; Tudor Cristea-Platon, physical applied math; and two combinatorics students, Yibo Gao and Jonathan Tidor. Three are from Harvard: Sahana Vasudevan, general pure math; Gregory Parker, geometry; and Pakawut Jiradilok, combinatorics. Three are from the Higher School of Economics in Russia: Daniil Kalinov, general math; Andrei Ionov, algebra; and Aleksandra Utilarova, lie algebra. And two are from University of Cambridge: Dominic Skinner, physical applied math, and Chun Hong Lo, algebra.
Other new students are:
- Jie Jun Ang, probability, Stanford
- Araminta Gwynne, general pure math, Northwestern
- Kai Huang, geometry, Peking University
- Chenyang Shao, analysis, Tsinghua University
- Felipe Suarez, science, University de los Andes
- Jingwei Xiao, number theory, Columbia
- Ruoxuan Yang, analysis, University of Hong Kong
Please help us welcome them to the Department of Mathematics!
June 2017: Our Spring 2017 Newsletter Integral is Now Available
Our Spring 2017 newsletter Integral is now available, and you can also check out our Simons Building Dedication insert.
June 2017: Hung Cheng Receives Distinguished Achievement Award in Technology and Launches Scholarship Fund
Hung Cheng Receives Technology Award and Launches Scholarship Fund
Hung Cheng received the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award in Technology and Humanity/Humanities, by the Chinese Institute of Engineers, San Francisco Bay Chapter. Cheng and his wife, Jill, also pledged $1 million last fall to the Hung and Jill Cheng Scholarship Fund, to support MIT undergraduates. Cheng was inspired to establish the scholarship through writing his novel, "Nanjing Never Cries."
June 2017: Grad Student Xin Sun Assists Physics Team with Photonic Tech Project to Aid Artificial Neural Networks
Grad student Xin Sun assists physics team with photonic tech project to aid artificial neural networks
Xin Sun, as a 5th year Ph.D. student in mathematics, was part of a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere that has developed a new approach to such computations, using light instead of electricity, which they say could vastly improve the speed and efficiency of certain deep learning computations. Their results appeared recently in the journal Nature Photonics. “Deep Learning” computer systems are based on artificial neural networks that mimic the way the brain learns from an accumulation of examples. These systems enable technologies such as face- and voice-recognition software, and could search through medical data to find patterns for diagnostic use, or scan chemical formulas for possible new pharmaceuticals.
Sun, whose advisor was Scott Sheffield, studies probability theory and mathematical physics; he has done research on random planar geometry, including SLE, Gaussian free field, random planar maps and Liouville quantum gravity. He was recruited to this photonics project by his friend, physics post-doc Yichen Shen, one of the first two authors of the article, and part of a team scattered around the world.
“The team in the physics department was trying to use optical device to realize mathematical operations involved in the deep learning algorithm, which are matrix multiplication and nonlinear function,” he explained. “One problem they encountered is to represent every matrix by 2 by 2 unitary matrices with other simple operations that can be easily realized by an optical device.” Together with Yichen Shen, he found what he explained "an economic way with respect to the optical device."
A recent graduate, Xin will go in July to Columbia University as a Simons Junior Fellow He received his B.S. in mathematics from Peking University.
Congratulations Xin Sun!
June 2017: Sylvain Carpentier Not Only Received his PhD in Mathematics at Commencement on June 9, but Performed That Night with the Boston Pops.
Sylvain Carpentier not only received his PhD in mathematics at Commencement on June 9, but performed that night with the Boston Pops.
Sylvain was the featured soloist with the Pops at Symphony Hall during Tech Night at the Pops, a 120-year Commencement tradition hosted by MIT for alumni and guests. He was the first MIT PhD in Tech Night history to be a soloist.
With the Pops, he performed Frédéric Chopin’s solo piano work, Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Opus 22, and received a standing ovation.
June 2017: Congratulations To Our New PhDs in Mathematics!
June 2017: Jerison, Staffiliani, French and Chu win Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs
Jerison, Staffiliani, French and Chu win MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs
David Jerison, Gigliola Staffiliani, Jennifer French, and Karene Chu are one of three winning groups of co-instructors honored by MIT’s Office of Digital Learning for its inaugural MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs (massive open online courses). They were honored for their significant contributions to MITx MOOC coursework offered on edX.org during the 2016 calendar year. The MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning recognizes educators who have devoted themselves to better engaging learners around the world through digital classrooms.
As part of their 18.01x Calculus Series, the team introduced a new sketch input tool and live-action videos while demonstrating what the review panel described as an “incredible level of commitment to course development and creating the best possible product.” The team drew content from Jerison’s 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus) course to serve as the base curriculum for 18.01x, then designed and built a highly interactive learning experience involving video, problems, text, and images.
At the May 19 MITx Significant Interest Group event, the team received a plaque, shared a $1,000 prize for an account of the faculty’s or department’s choosing, and will be MITx’s nominees for the edX Prize.
Congratulations David, Gigliola, Jennifer and Karene!
May 2017: Sylvain Carpentier is Awarded the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Graduate student Sylvain Carpentier has been awarded the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize. This award is presented to a current MIT graduate student in the Department of Mathematics for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal. Sylvain received the prize for his paper "A sufficient condition for a rational differential operator to generate an integrable system" in the Japanese Journal of Mathemtics, March 2017 issue (Vol. 12, no. 1).
May 2017: Gus Lonergan, Jonasz Slomka and Lucas Tambasco are Awarded Charles and Holly Housman Teaching Awards
Charles and Holly Housman Teaching Awards
Graduate students Gus Lonergan, Jonasz Slomka and Lucas Tambasco have each been awarded the Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in Mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
Congratulations Gus, Jonasz, and Lucas!
May 2017: Yibo Gao Receives Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Yibo Gao has received the 2017 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
May 2017: Casals receives Caselles Award and Fellowship
Casals receives Caselles Award and Fellowship
The BBVA Foundation and the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society have awarded the Vincent Caselles Mathematical Research Award to CLE Moore Instructor Roger Casals. Among six recipients, Casals received the award for his contributions to contact topology. The Caselles Award goes to young mathematicians under 30 to boost the research of young Spanish mathematicians or those trained in Spain.
Casals also received RSME's José Luis Rubio de Francia Award and the BBVA Research Fellowship, which funds a three-year research project. His research on contact and symplectic topology, flexible-rigid dichotomy and h-principles is also supported by an NSF award.
May 2017: Calculus Classes on edX, Rerun Starting Soon
April 2017: Cesar Duarte and Becky Ecung Receive Infinite Mile Awards
Infinite Mile Award
The School of Science has selected Special Projects Assistant Cesar Duarte and Webmaster Becky Ecung to receive the Infinite Mile Award. The Infinite Mile Award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond their required duties. This includes going beyond expectation in mentoring, learning and skill building, innovation, and community building.
Cesar was nominated for the “Beyond Expectation Award,” for consistently going above and beyond the requirements of his job to make the Math Department a better place. Becky was nominated for the “Innovator Award,” for creating solutions to problems large and small, and finding simple solutions to the daily struggles for the department.
Congratulations Cesar and Becky!
April 2017: Scott Sheffield and Jason P. Miller Receive Clay Research Award
Clay Research Award
Professor Scott Sheffield and former Schramm and NSF fellow Jason P. Miller have won the 2017 Clay Research Award for their work on the geometry of the Gaussian free field and its application to the solution of open problems in the theory of two-dimensional random structures. Jason is now at the University of Cambridge.
Congratulations Scott and Jason!
April 2017: MIT takes 4th place in Putnam Competition
MIT takes 4th place in Putnam Competition
The MIT team of Robert C. Shen, David H. Yang, and Yunkun Zhou placed 4th this year in the 2016 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, after a three-year run of first places.
Yunkun Zhou was named a Putnam Fellow, placing in the top 5.
MIT has 3 students in the next 9 spots: Jiyang Gao, Allen X. Liu, and Sammy Y. Luo; 7 in the next 11 spots: Evan Chen, Andrew He, Hyun Sub Hwang, Eshaan Nichani, Mark A. Sellke, Robert C. Shen, and Lingfu Zhang; and 21 honorable mentions in the next 68: Ryan N. Alweiss, Yibo Gao, Brian H. Gu, Meghal Gupta, Brice Huang, Kritkorn Karntikoon, Samuel Korsky, Michael J. Kural, Calvin J. Lee, Justin K. Lim, Ting-Chun Lin, Yang Liu, Weerachai Neeranartvong, Sung Gi Park, Tahsin Saffat, Sean Shi, Kevin Sun, Suchan Vivatsethachai, Jianqiao Xia, David H. Yang, and Kevin Zhou.
MIT earned an outstanding 32 of the top 93 spots.
A Full List of the Winners
Congratulations to the winners, and to all who took the exam!
April 2017: Gigliola Staffilani Receives Guggenheim Fellowship
Professor Gigliola Staffilani has been awarded the 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is among 173 who were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in April, chosen among 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s 93rd competition. Gigliola is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Mathematics.
April 2017: Undergraduates Receive NSF Fellowships
The following undergraduate mathematics students have been awarded 2017 NSF Fellowships for Graduate Study:
- Colin Aitken
- Brian Axelrod
- Shi-Fan Chen
- Robert Jones
- Saarik Kalia
- Jing Li
- Alexander Moss
- Mark Sellke
- Jonathan Tidor
- Kevin Zhou
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees.
Congratulations to our winners!
April 2017: Gweneth McKinley Chosen as an Honoree Graduate Women of Excellence Celebration
Graduate Women of Excellence
Doctoral student Gweneth McKinley has been chosen as an honoree in the 2017 biennial celebration of Graduate Women of Excellence. The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education’s celebration recognizes graduate women who exemplify leadership and service contributions at the Institute, and outstanding accomplishment. Gweneth and others will be recognized on April 24, where honorees will present posters on their accomplishments and future plans.
March 2017: Hertz Fellowships
Linus Hamilton, a first-year graduate student, and fourth-year undergraduate Ofer Grossman were among 12 to receive the Hertz Fellowship.
Hamilton, from College Park, Md., is pursuing his PhD in applied mathematics. His advisor is Ankur Moitra, who also had received a Hertz Fellowship.
Grossman, who will pursue his PhD in theoretical computer science, also co-won the 2015 SPUR (Summer Program in Undergraduate Research) Hartley Rogers Jr. Prize.
Congratulations Linus and Ofer!
March 2017: Simons Fellowships
Professors Tobias Colding, Gigliola Staffilani, Tomasz Mrowka and Fall 2017 incoming professor Wei Zhang have each been awarded a 2017 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. This award is granted to scientists with great potential for research accomplishment based on their accomplishments within the past five years.
Congratulations Toby, Gigliola, Tom and Wei!
March 2017: Regeneron Science Talent Search
Regeneron Science Talent Search
PRIMES math student Aaron Yeiser, mentored by Alex Townsend, has won the 2nd place award in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2017 (formerly Intel) for his development of a new numerical method for solving partial differential equations on complicated geometries.
Two other PRIMES students, Alec Sun and Felix Wang were also finalists.
Congratulations PRIMES students!
March 2017: Sloan Research Fellowships
Sloan Research Fellowships
Assistant Professors Semyon Dyatlov and Aaron Pixton have each been awarded the 2017 Sloan Research Fellowships. This two-year fellowship recognizes early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise who have a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Congratulations Semyon and Aaron!
January 2017: National Inventors Hall of Fame
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Professor Tom Leighton has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the Content Delivery Network methods that he invented with his graduate student Danny Lewin. Using Applied Mathematics and Algorithms, Leighton's methods allow the replication and delivery of content over a large network of distributed servers, making the Internet faster.
January 2017: AMS Election Results
AMS Election Results
Three of our senior faculty were elected by members of the AMS to these respective appointments and terms:
- David Jerison, Vice President (Feb. 2017 - Jan. 2020)
- Bjorn Poonen, Nominating Committee (Jan. 2017 - Dec. 2019)
- Scott Sheffield, Editorial Boards Committee (Feb. 2017 - Jan. 2020).
Congratulations to them and appreciation for their service to the Mathematics Community!
January 2017: AWM Mathematics Dissertation Prize
AWM Mathematics Dissertation Prize
2015 PhD Graduate Dana Mendelson, under the direction of Gigliola Staffilani, has received the Inaugural Association for Women in Mathematics Dissertation Prize. This prize is awarded annually to outstanding PhD dissertations presented by female mathematical scientists.
January 2017: A New edX Course
December 2016: Morgan Prize
MIT Senior Math Major David H. Yang has won the 2017 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. As an undergraduate student, Yang has already authored five research papers, three of which have been accepted in the Memoirs of the AMS.
December 2016: Siemens Competition
December 2016: George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
George Lusztig with the 2016 and 2017 PRIMES Mentors: Isabel Vogt, Seth Shelly-Abrahamson and Chieon Kim (2016), and Guangyi Yue, Andrew Rzeznik and Lucas Mason-Brown (2017)
The 2017 George Lusztig PRIMES mentors are Lucas Mason-Brown, Andrew Rzeznik, and Guangyi Yue. These positions are awarded annually to continuing PRIMES mathematics mentors for exceptional mentor service in past years.
Congratulations Lucas, Andrew, and Guangyi!
December 2016: Marshall Scholar
Kevin Zhou, a double major in Mathematics and Physics, has been named a 2017 Marshall Scholar. With this scholarship, Kevin will study theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge.
August 2016: Gian-Carlo Rota Biographical Memoir
Gian-Carlo Rota Biographical Memoir
The National Academy of Sciences has released a biographical memoir of former MIT Mathematics Professor, Gian-Carlo Rota. Rota became a Professor of Mathematics in 1967 and Professor of Applied Mathematics and Philosophy in 1975. He won the Killian Faculty Achievement Award in 1996.
August 2016: Ankur Moitra, Packard Fellow
Ankur Moitra, Packard Fellow
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has awarded Ankur Moitra the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, recognizing him as one in eighteen of the nation's most innovative young scientists and engineers.
August 2016: Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize 2016
Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize 2016
Professor Tobias Colding received the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize for ground-breaking research in differential geometry and geometric analysis. Awarded annually for over 200 years, this prize is given to researchers who have contributed significantly to basic research at a high international level.
August 2016: Rogers Family Prize
Rogers Family Prize
The 2016 Hartley Rogers Jr. Family Prize for the best SPUR paper was awarded to Lingfu Zhang and his mentor Hong Wang for the paper, "Refinements of the 2-Dimensional Strichartz Estimate using the Maximum Wave Packet" (project provided by Larry Guth).
Congratulations Lingfu and Hong!
August 2016: José Luis Rubio de Francia Prize
August 2016: Building 2 Awards
Building 2 Awards
The Building 2 renovation project has received two prestigeous awards. First, the Cambridge Historical Commission celebrated the quality of historial preservation of the property by granting the project a 2015-2016 Preservation Award. Second, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) has honored the project with a SCUP/AIA-CAE Award for "excellence in architecture for building additions or adaptive reuse."
Thank you Ann Beha Architects and other project contributors!
August 2016: Quanta Magazine Feature
August 2016: Canadian Thesis Prizes
Instructor and Postdoctoral Fellow Vincent Genest has been awarded two prizes for his Phd work, Algebraic structures, superintegrable systems and orthogonal polynomials. The Canadian Mathematical Society has presented Vincent with the 2016 Doctoral Prize, and the Canadian Association of Physicists-Division of Theoretical Physics has awarded him with the 2016 Thesis Prize.
August 2016: Communications of the ACM Cover Story
Communications of the ACM Cover Story
Communications of the ACM, the leading print and online publication for the computing and information technology fields, has featured the work of Professor Bonnie Berger on the cover of the 2016 August issue. The article, titled Computational Biology in the 21st Century: Scaling with Compressive Algorithms, discusses how algorithmic advances take advantage of the structure of the massive biological data landscape.
July 2016: Simons Fellowship
July 2016: Simons Professorship
Professor Bonnie Berger has been appointed the Simons Professor of Mathematics. Established by the James and Marilyn Simons Professorship Fund in 1996, this appointment recognizes outstanding achievements in mathematics, continued commitment to excellence in education and research, and service to the mathematics department.
July 2016: JSMF Complex Systems Scholar Award
JSMF Complex Systems Scholar Award
Assistant Professor Jörn Dunkel has received a 2016 Complex Systems Scholar Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. The JSMF Scholar Awards Program supports high quality research to further the science of complex systems. Awardees are selected by an expert advisory panel based on the importance and originality of the applicant's proposed research.
June 2016: Simons Investigator
June 2016: New PhDs
May 2016: Rockwell International Career Assistant Professorship
Rockwell International Career
Ankur Moitra has been selected as the next Rockwell International Career Assistant Professor of Mathematics. This professorship recognizes and encourages excellence of the research and teaching by our gifted young faculty.
May 2016: Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Yongyi Chen and Mitchell Lee each received the 2016 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
Congratulations Yongyi and Mitchell!
May 2016: Hertz Foundation Fellowship
Hertz Foundation Fellowship
Felipe Hernandez was awarded the Hertz Foundation Fellowship, given to support an outstanding student with the freedom to innovate as part of their graduate studies.
May 2016: Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prizes L-R: Department Head Tomasz Mrowka, Awardee Yun William Yu, Awardee Yi Sun, Associate Department Head John Bush
Graduate students Yi Sun and Yun William Yu have each been awarded the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize. This award is presented to a current MIT graduate student in the Department of Mathematics for a research paper accepted for publication in a major journal. Yi Sun received the prize for his paper "Traces of Intertwiners for Quantum Affine sl2 and Felder–Varchenko Functions," and Yun William Yu for his paper "Entropy-Scaling Search of Massive Biological Data."
Congratulations Yi and Yun William!
May 2016: Charles and Holly Housman Teaching Awards
Charles and Holly Housman Teaching Awards
Charles and Holly Housman Teaching Awards L-R: Associate Department Head John Bush, Holly and Charles Housman, Awardee Carlos Sauer Ayala (with daughter Micaela), Ben Housman, Department Head Tomasz Mrowka and Awardee Zachary Abel
Graduate students Zachary Abel and Carlos Sauer Ayala have each been awarded the Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching. This award is presented to graduate students in Mathematics for skill and dedication in undergraduate teaching.
Congratulations Zachary and Carlos!
May 2016: American Philosophical Society
American Philosophical Society
Emeritus Professor Alar Toomre has been elected to be a member of the American Philosophical Society. The APS is America's first learned society and members are elected after achieving extraordinary accomplishments in their field of intellectual endeavor.
May 2016: Edmund F. Kelly Research Award
Edmund F. Kelly Research Award
Assistant Professors Jörn Dunkel and Ankur Moitra have each been awarded an Edmund F. Kelly Research Award. This award is given to a junior faculty member “in recognition of work that applies mathematical methods to a new area or that offers a fundamentally new perspective on a classical problem.”
Congratulations Jörn and Ankur!
May 2016: Math Department Faculty Promotions
May 2016: Irwin Sizer Award and MIT Awards Convocation
Irwin Sizer Award and MIT Awards Convocation
The MIT Awards Convocation awarded Professor Tom Leighton and Dean Michael Sipser the Irwin Sizer Award of the Graduate School Council, for most significant improvements to MIT Education. -- in particular, for their development of the highly successful 18C major: Mathematics with Computer Science.
Congratulations Tom and Mike!
...Full List of Awards
April 2016: MIT Phi Beta Kappa
2016 MIT Phi Beta Kappa
The Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has elected 32 mathematics majors, out of 84 electees in the entire school, from the Class of 2016 to become members. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society with a very selective invitation process. Membership is awarded to students in recognition of excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education.
April 2016: AWM-Birman Research Prize
AWM-Birman Research Prize
Assistant Professor Emmy Murphy has been awarded the Birman Research Prize in Topology and Geometry. With this prize, the Association for Women in Mathematics recognizes Murphy's outstanding contributions to symplectic and contact topology. The official award ceremony will take place at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2017.
April 2016: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor Pavel Etingof has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With members including many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide, the American Academy is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers.
April 2016: Putnam Competition
MIT Wins Putnam Competition for the Third Consecutive Year!
Our 1st Place Team:
Mark A. Sellke, Bobby C. Shen, David H. Yang
Our Putnam Fellows:
David H. Yang and Yunkun Zhou
Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize for the Top Woman Scorer:
In addition to having the 1st place team and 2 of the 6 highest ranking individuals, MIT has 4 of the next 10 top scorers, 3 of the next 10, and an outstanding 24 out of 63 students who received honorable mention.
March 2016: Simons Building
Building 2 To Be Renamed the Simons Building
In the Fall of 2016, MIT will officially dedicate the newly renovated Building 2 in honor of James H. and Marilyn Simons. Thanks to the couple's generosity the Institute was able to restore and renovate the building. Alumna Ann Beha led the project, modernizing the space and expanding it with the addition of a fourth floor while maintaining the historic integrity of the building's original limestome façade. The new Simons Building opened in January for the Spring semester.
March 2016: Intel Science Talent Search
Intel Science Talent Search
PRIMES and RSI math student Meena Jagadeesan has won the 2nd prize nationally in the Basic Research category of the Intel Science Talent Search 2016. She was awarded the prize for her paper on algebraic combinatorics, written under the guidance of Miriam Farber (project suggested by Professor Alex Postnikov). This was the only project in mathematics that won a top prize this year.
March 2016: Sloan Fellowships
Sloan Research Fellowships
Assistant Professors Ankur Moitra and Vadim Gorin have been awarded 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships. This two-year fellowship recognizes early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise who have a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Congratulations Ankur and Vadim!
March 2016: MacVicar Fellow
January 2016: Wigner medal
January 2016: Integral
January 2016: AIMBE Fellow
Professor Bonnie Berger has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. AIMBE Fellows are the most distinguished and outstanding bioengineers, representing the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community.
January 2016: National Medal of Science
December 2015: Morgan Prize
MIT Class of 2015 Math Major Amol Aggarwal has won the 2016 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. Now a PhD student at Harvard University, Amol's research focuses on combinatorics.
December 2015: Honorary Doctorate
December 2015: George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
The 2016 George Lusztig PRIMES mentors are Chiheon Kim, Seth Shelley-Abrahamson, and Isabel Vogt. These positions are awarded annually to continuing PRIMES mathematics mentors for exceptional mentor service in past years.
Congratulations Chiheon, Seth and Isabel!
November 2015: Bose Grant
Chemical Engineering and Mathematics Professor Martin Bazant, has been awarded a Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grant to support his innovative research. Bazant's project involves the development of theories behind ion transport and reactions in ionic liquids, on a molecular level. Such research could potentially be used for ultrafast rechargeable batteries.
November 2015: Marshall Scholar
Võ Tiến Phong, a double major in Mathematics and Physics, has been named a 2016 Marshall Scholar. With this scholarship, Phong will study theoretical physics at University of Cambridge.
November 2015: MIT Team Develops Innovative Desalination System
MIT Team Develops Innovative
Chemical Engineering and Mathematics Professor Martin Bazant, along with graduate student Sven Schlumpberger, undergraduate Nancy Lu, and former postdoc Matthew Suss, has recently published a paper in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters which describes a new approach to desalinating water. After extensive theoretical mathematical work on this problem, Bazant's innovation is a wonderful example of mathematics leading to experiments, which lead to new processes that address pressing global needs.
November 2015: New Horizons in Mathematics Prize
October 2015: New Memoir - George W. Whitehead Jr.
September 2015: Global Grand Challenges Summit
Global Grand Challenges Summit
Student Day Competition
Math undergraduate Nadia Wallace and two other undergraduates, Katrine Tjoelsen and Priya Kalluri, have won third place at the 2nd Global Grand Challenges Summit Student Day Competition in Beijing, China. Competing under the heading "Advancing Health Informatics," the students pitched a software-as-a-service company for adaptive clinical trials solutions. This summit is jointly organized by the NAE, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Congratulations Nadia, Katrine and Priya!
September 2015: Daniel Kan Biography in AMS Notices
Daniel Kan Biography in AMS Notices
The October 2015 issue of the AMS publication, Notices, features a biographical article about former mathematics professor Daniel M. Kan (1927-2013). The article, written by Clark Barwick, Michael Hopkins, Haynes Miller and Ieke Moerdijk, reflects on Daniel's life, work and influence on the field of mathematics.
September 2015: Building 2 Architects Named Top Firm
September 2015: Henri Poincaré Prize
Henri Poincaré Prize
Professor Alexei Borodin has won the 2015 Henri Poincaré Prize. This prize, awarded every three years at the International Mathematical Physics Congress, recognizes outstanding contributions in mathematical physics and supports young people of exceptional promise who have already made outstanding contributions to the field.
August 2015: Teaching Prize for Graduate Education
August 2015: Davidson Math Awards
PRIMES and RSI Students Win All Davidson Math Awards
PRIMES student Noah Golowich became a Davidson Fellow Laureate ($50,000 award), and PRIMES USA student Peter Tian became a Davidson Fellow ($25,000 award). Among the 20 national fellowships only two were awarded for mathematical projects, and both went to PRIMES students. Both Noah and Peter were also RSI students in 2014.
Thank you to Noah's mentors Laszlo Lovasz, David Rolnick, and Yufei Zhao, Peter's mentor Jesse Geneson, PRIMES and RSI Head mentor Tanya Khovanova, Professor Jacob Fox who provided the projects, and to Professor David Jerison and Dr. Slava Gerovitch who do a great job running these programs!
Congratulations Noah and Peter!
...Full List of Winners
August 2015: PRIMES Featured in AMS Notices
August 2015: Rogers Family Prize
Rogers Family Prize
The 2015 Hartley Rogers Jr. Family Prize for the best SPUR paper has been shared between student Yuchen Fu and his mentor Seth Shelley-Abrahamson, and student Ofer Grossman and his mentor Dongkwan Kim. Their projects were suggested by Pavel Etingof and Andrew Sutherland.
Congratulations, Yuchen, Seth, Ofer, and Dongkwan!
July 2015: Alexander Kuznetsov Prize
Alexander Kuznetsov Prize
Professor Martin Bazant has been awarded the Alexander Kuznetsov Prize in Theoretical Electrochemistry by the International Society of Electrochemistry. This prize is awarded every two years to a living individual who has made groundbreaking contribution to the theory of electrochemical phenomena.
July 2015: Clay Prize
July 2015: OCW
MIT Mathematics OCW is
The traffic to the MIT Mathematics OCW Scholar courses is outstanding. One course, 18.01SC Single Variable Calculus, has reached 2.2 million visits. 18.02SC Multivariable Calculus and 18.06SC Linear Algebra have each received more than 1 million visits, and 18.03SC Differential Equations (which was published in late 2013) is now approaching 1 million. In the last 18 months, 14 new course sites have been published for the Mathematics Department through MIT OpenCourseWare.
July 2015: Loève Prize
Professor Alexei Borodin has won the 2015 Loève Prize. The prize, awarded every two years, is intended to recognize outstanding contributions by young researchers in probability.
July 2015: Leslie Fox Prize
June 2015: Faculty Chair - Speck
Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professorship
Jared Speck is the new Cecil and Ida Green Career Assistant Professor of Mathematics. This professorship recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching by gifted young faculty members.
June 2015: Faculty Chair - Kelner
Mark Hyman, Jr. Career Development Professorship
Jonathan Kelner is the new Mark Hyman, Jr. Career Development Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics. This chair honors outstanding researchers by allowing them flexibility to pursue new ideas and opportunities.
June 2015: Babbage Award
June 2015: MOOC
June 2015: Tenure
Math faculty member Laurent Demanet has been promoted to tenure as approved by the MIT Corporation Executive Committee.
May 2015: Charles and Holly Housman Award
Charles and Holly Housman Award
Graduate Students Dana Mendelson, Michael Andrews, and Daniel Harris have been awarded Charles and Holly Housman Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Pictured above, the students were congratulated by Charles Housman, Gigliola Staffilani and Tom Mrowka.
Congratulations Michael, Daniel, and Dana!
May 2015: Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prize
Graduate Students Yufei Zhao and Francesco Lin have been awarded Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Prizes. This prize is given to graduate students in mathematics for an outstanding paper accepted for publication in a major journal.
Congratulations Francesco and Yufei!
May 2015: Graduate Student Appreciation Fellowship
Ruthi Hortsch has received the Math Department's Graduate Student Appreciation Fellowship, in recognition of outstanding teaching and service to the department.
May 2015: Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Undergraduates Cole Graham, Alexander Siegenfeld, and Jordan Cotler have been awarded Hertz Foundation Fellowships. These fellowships are given to support outstanding students with the freedom to innovate as part of their graduate studies.
Congratulations Cole, Alex and Jordan!
May 2015: Barry Goldwater Scholarship
Barry Goldwater Scholarship
Math major Felipe Hernandez has won a Goldwater Scholarship. This prestigious award is merit-based and highly competive, with only 300 scholarships awarded nationally.
May 2015: Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Jon A. Bucsela Prize
Ka Yu Tam has received the Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiasm for mathematics.
Congratulations Ka Yu!
May 2015: NSF Graduate Fellows
NSF Graduate Fellows
The following students have been awarded 2015 NSF Fellowships for Graduate Study:
- Amol Aggarwal
- Julian Chaidez
- Sheela Devadas
- Caelan Reed Garrett
- Carl Lian
- Quanquan Liu
- Joel Schneider
- Brandon Tran
- Alex Siegenfeld
- Erik Waingarten
May 2015: Honorary Degree
Honorary Doctoral Degree
Professor Bonnie Berger will be awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne during the school's October graduation ceremony. EPFL has top CS and life science departments and is deeply engaged in many areas of computing, biology and medicine.
April 2015: MIT Phi Beta Kappa
2015 MIT Phi Beta Kappa
The Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has elected 43 mathematics majors (nearly half of the 90 electees in the entire school) from the Class of 2015 to become members. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society with a very selective invitation process. Membership is awarded to students in recognition of excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education.
April 2015: National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
Department Head Tomasz Mrowka has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is one of the highest honors that a scientist can achieve.
April 2015: Frank E. Perkins Award
Frank E. Perkins Award
Professor Pavel Etingof has been awarded the Frank E. Perkins award for Excellence in Graduate Advising. Named in honor of Frank E. Perkins, Dean of the Graduate School from 1983-85, this award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates unbounded compassion and dedication towards students.
April 2015: Graduate Woman of Excellence
2015 Graduate Woman of Excellence
Isabel Vogt, a first-year graduate student, was honored at a celebration on April 23 as one of this year's Graduate Women of Excellence. Isabel, along with 50 other MIT women, was selected for this honor by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education (ODGE). The award not only recognizes Isabel's mathematical achievements and research potential, but also her contributions to mentoring others, including her work with Girls' Angle, a math club for girls, and her years of work as a mentor and this year as the program coordinator of MIT's PRIMES Circle, promoting mathematics for students of disadvantaged backgrounds in Boston-area high schools. Thanks to Professor Pavel Etingof for nominating Isabel.
April 2015: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor William Minicozzi has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge since 1780 and its members include many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide.
April 2015: Infinite Mile
Inifinite Mile Awards
Human Resources Coordinator Daniel Delgado and Administrative Assistant Jonathan Harmon have been awarded School of Science Infinite Mile Awards. The Infinite Mile award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond their required duties. This includes going beyond expectation in mentoring, learning and skill building, innovation, and community building.
Congratulations Dan and Jonathan!
April 2015: Putnam Competition
MIT Wins Putnam Competition, Again!
Our 1st Place Team:
Mitchell M. Lee, Zipei Nie, and David H. Yang
Our Putnam Fellows:
Zipei Nie, Mark A. Sellke, Bobby C. Shen, David H. Yang and Lingfu Zhang
In addition to having the 1st place team and 5 of the 6 highest ranking individuals, MIT has 5 of the next 10 top scorers, 6 of the next 11, and 16 students who received honorable mention.
March 2015: Simons Fellowship
February 2015: PRIMES/RSI Students Win Top Intel Prizes
PRIMES/RSI Students Win Top Intel Prizes
PRIMES and RSI student Noah Golowich won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research ($150,000), PRIMES-USA student Brice Huang won the Second Place ($75,000), and PRIMES/RSI student Shashwat Kishore the Third Place ($35,000), taking the three top prizes in all fields of science and technology. Noah’s mentors were Laszlo Lovasz and David Rolnick; Brice’s mentor was Wuttisak Trongsiriwat; Shashwat was mentored by Gus Lonergan and Prof. Pavel Etingof.
Congratulations, Noah, Brice, and Shashwat!
February 2015: Sloan Research Fellowship - Jörn Dunkel
Sloan Research Fellowship
Assistant Professor Jörn Dunkel has been selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. Dunkel works on continuum theories with application to biology and soft matter physics, most recently making breakthroughs in the study of cell locomotion and formation of wrinkles on curved surfaces.
February 2015: Sloan Research Fellowship - Emmy Murphy
Sloan Research Fellowship
Assistant Professor Emmy Murphy has been selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. Murphy's work has transformed symplectic topology in particular the understanding of high dimensional contact geometry.
February 2015: NSF CAREER Award - Ankur Moitra
February 2015: NSF CAREER Award - Jared Speck
NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Professor Jared Speck has been honored with an award through the Faculty Early Career Development Program from the National Science Foundation for his project "Geometric Methods in Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations".
February 2015: Churchill Scholarship
MIT math senior Daniel Kang has won a prestigious Churchill Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Cambridge. This scholarship is awarded to individuals with exceptional academic talent and outstanding achievement.
February 2015: Faculty Promotions
January 2015: Richard D. Schafer 1918-2014
Richard D. Schafer 1918-2014
Emeritus Professor Richard Schafer passed away at Brookhaven in Lexington on Dec 28. A specialist in non-associative algebras, he joined our faculty as Professor in 1959, serving as Deputy Head under Ted Martin from 1959-68. Previously, he was Department Head of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut, 1953-59. He retired from MIT in 1988.
December 2014: Siemens Competition
Two PRIMES students win Siemens Competition
PRIMES-USA and RSI student Peter Tian has won the 1st Prize ($100,000) and MIT PRIMES student Joseph Zurier has won the 2nd Prize ($50,000) in the Siemens Competition, taking the two top prizes among all fields of science and technology. Peter's project was suggested and mentored by Jesse Geneson; Joe's project was suggested by Professor Larry Guth and mentored by Ben Yang.
Congratulations, Peter and Joe!
December 2014: George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
George Lusztig PRIMES Mentorships
The first George Lusztig PRIMES mentors are Jesse Geneson, Darij Grinberg, and Yufei Zhao. These positions will be awarded annually to continuing PRIMES mathematics mentors for exceptional mentor service in past years.
Congratulations Jesse, Darij and Yufei!
November 2014: AMS Steele Prize
AMS Steele Prize
Professor Victor Kac will be honored with the AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January, "for his groundbreaking contributions to Lie Theory and its applications to Mathematics and Mathematical Physics." He is the 5th faculty member to be so honored in the 23 years that the prize has been awarded.
November 2014: Alice T. Schafer Prize
2015 Alice T. Schafer Prize
Undergraduate student, Sheela Devadas has won the 2015 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics. Sheela began work on a PRIMES Project with graduate mentor Steven Sam in the 10th grade. The project continued for 1.5 years, resulting in a joint publication. She entered MIT early after the 11th grade.
Sheela is our 5th winner in the 9th consecutive year, in which one of our students won at least Honorable Mention in the Schafer Prize. Thanks to Pavel Etingof for nominating Sheela, and to Mike Artin, David Jerison, Ronitt Rubinfeld (EECS), and Steven Sam (Miller Fellow, Berkeley) who wrote supporting letters.
October 2014: Moscow Math Society Prize
Moscow Math Society Prize
Instructor Vadim Gorin has been awarded the Moscow Mathematical Society Prize. This prize is awarded to young scientists for work or series of works on mathematics with substantial scientific interest. Gorin was awarded this prize for a cycle of works entitled "Asymptotic problems in combinatorics and representation theory."
August 2014: 2014 Teaching Prize
2014 Teaching Prize
Professor Bjorn Poonen has been awarded the 2014 School of Science Prize in Undergraduate Teaching. Prize recipients are nominated by faculty and students to recognize their outstanding teaching.
August 2014: Davidson Fellowships
Two PRIMES students win Davidson Fellowships
PRIMES student Ravi Jagadeesan became a Davidson Fellow Laureate ($50,000 scholarship), and PRIMES-USA student Ritesh Ragavender became a Davidson Fellow ($25,000). Among the 20 national fellowships only two were awarded for mathematical projects, and both went to PRIMES students.
Congratulations, Ravi and Ritesh!
August 2014: Rogers Family Prize
Rogers Family Prize
Undergraduate student Saarik Kalia and his mentor, graduate student Ben Yang, have been awarded the Hartley Rogers Jr. Family Prize for the best SPUR paper. The project, "Generalizations of the Szemeredi-Trotter Theorem," was suggested by Larry Guth.
Congratulations, Saarik and Ben!
August 2014: ISCB Vice President
July 2014: Simons Fellowships
July 2014: SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize
SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize
Instructor Vladislav Voroninski has been awarded a SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize for his paper "Phase Retrieval via Matrix Completion", co-authored with Emmanuel Candes, Thomas Strohmer and Yonina Eldar. This prize is awarded to authors of papers that exhibit orginiality by offering a fresh look at an existing field or opening up new areas of applied mathematics.
June 2014: Simons Investigator
May 2014: Shaw Prize
Abdun-Nur Professor George Lusztig has has won the Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences "for his fundamental contributions to algebra, algebraic geometry, and representation theory, and for weaving these subjects together to solve old problems and reveal beautiful new connections."
May 2014: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Intel International Science and
Engineering Fair Awards
Ritesh Ragavender has won the First Prize for his PRIMES-USA project, Odd Dunkl Operators and nilHecke Algebras, suggested and mentored by Alex Ellis.
- Sarah Shader (RSI) -- Second Award
- Ritesh Ragavender (PRIMES-USA) -- Third Award
- Bertrand Stone (RSI) -- Honorable Mention
Congratulations to all contestants, mentors, staff, and faculty!
May 2014: Endowed Chairs
Faculty Endowed Chair Appointments
Professors Paul Seidel and David Vogan will be appointed to endowed chairs
effective July 2014.
Paul Seidel will be the Norman Levinson Professor of Mathematics
David Vogan will be the Norbert Wiener Professor of Mathematics
The Norman Levinson chair is supported by a generous gift from James and Marilyn Simons.
Congratulations David and Paul!
May 2014: Bucsela Prize
Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics
Dennis Tseng has received the Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics for distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise, and enthusiam for mathematics.
May 2014: Undergraduate Distinctions
Math Majors Win Honors and Awards
On May 5, 2014, Steven Johnson presented the following distinctions at the Math Majors Senior Dinner:
Congratulations Math Majors!
May 2014: Tenure
May 2014: Conferences
May 2014: Simons Lectures
Simons Lectures in Mathematics
May 14-16, 4:30-5:30pm
University of Oxford
Finding algebraic structure in combinatorial problems
Lecture 1: May 14, Room 54-100
Approximate groups and applications
Lecture 2: May 15, Room 3-270
Linear equations and higher-order Fourier analysis
Lecture 3: May 16, Room 3-270
Incidence geometry and cubic curves
April 2014: NAS - Jim Simons
National Academy of Sciences
Math Department alumnus and friend Jim Simons has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Academy membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.
April 2014: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Gigliola Staffilani and Paul Seidel have been elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge since 1780 and its members include many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide.
Congratulations Gigliola and Paul!
April 2014: Infinite Mile Award
Inifinite Mile Award
Academic Administrator Barbara Peskin has been awarded the School of Science Infinite Mile Award. This award honors exceptional employees whose accomplishments so often go far beyond their assigned roles and duties.
April 2014: Integral
April 2014: Putnam Competition
MIT Wins Putnam Competition!
Our 1st Place Team:
Benjamin Gunby, Mitchell Lee, Zipei Nie
Our Putnam Fellows:
Mitchell Lee, Zipei Nie, Bobby Shen, David Yang
In addition to having the 1st place team and 4 of the 5 highest ranking individuals, MIT has 11 of the next top 20 scorers and 20 of the 56 students with Honorable Mentions.
March 2014: Goldwater Scholarships
Math majors Carl Lian and Daniel Kang have won Goldwater Scholarships. This prestigious award is merit-based and highly competive, with only 300 scholarships awarded nationally. Thanks to Professor Pavel Etingof for nominating Carl and EECS for nominating Daniel.
Congratulations Carl and Daniel!
March 2014: Intel Science Talent Search
Intel Science Talent Search 2014
PRIMES student Bill Kuszmaul has won 3rd place in the Intel Science Talent Search 2014, the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Additionally, he was elected by the Intel Finalists to receive the Glen T. Seaborg award and give a speech at the awards ceremony.
RSI student, Jessica Shi was among the 40 Intel Science Talent Search finalists.
Congratulations Bill and Jessica!
March 2014: MAA Poster Session
MAA Undergraduate Poster Session
PRIMES students Jin-Woo Oh, Ritesh Ragavender, Uma Roy, and Junho Won and RSI student Jessica Shi have won Outstanding Presentation Awards at the 2014 MAA Undergraduate Poster Session.
Congratulations contestants and advisors!
March 2014: Jacob Fox - NSF CAREER
NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Professor Jacob Fox has been honored with an award through the Faculty Early Career Development Program from the National Science Foundation for his project "Extremal Combinatorics: Methods, Problems, and Challenges."
March 2014: Simons Lectures
Simons Lectures in Mathematics
March 12-14, 4:30-5:30pm
Ramanujan graphs and the solution of the Kadison-Singer problem
Lecture 1: March 12, Room E25-111
Sparsification of graphs and matrices
Lecture 2: March 13, Room 3-270
The solution of the Kadison-Singer problem
Lecture 3: March 14, Room 3-270
Ramanujan graphs of every degree
February 2014: Sloan Research Fellowships
Sloan Research Fellowships
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has announced that Assistant Professors Charles Smart and Jared Speck are among the nine MIT faculty members receiving 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships. These two-year fellowships are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Congratulations Charlie and Jared!
February 2014: Salem, Rollo Davidson, NSF CAREER awards
Rollo Davidson Prize
NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Mathematics Professor Gonçalo Tabuada has been honored with an award through the Faculty Early Career Development Program from the National Science Foundation.
January 2014: Alice T. Schafer Prize
Alice T. Schafer Prize
Math major Jessie Zhang has won Honorable Mention for the 2014 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.
This continues the amazing 8 year streak of Math Department students winning at least Honorable Mention in the Schafer prize. Thanks to Mike Artin for nominating Jessie and to Pavel Etingof, Mark Behrens and Jenny Hoffman (Harvard Physics).
December 2013: Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships
Math Majors Win Scholarships
One of the thirty-four Marshall Scholarships awarded nationwide has been granted to senior Kirin Sinha. This scholarship will support two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.
The Rhodes Trust has selected recent MIT graduate John Mikhael as one of thirty-two Rhodes Scholarship winners nation wide. This scholarship will support his study next year at Oxford University.
October 2013: Packard Fellowship
Jacob Fox, Packard Fellow
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has awarded Jacob Fox the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, recognizing him as one in sixteen of the nation's most innovative young scientists and engineers. Congratulations Jacob!
September 2013: Faculty Chair Appointment
New Faculty Endowed Chair Appointment
Toby Colding has been appointed as the Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Mathematics.
September 2013: Davidson Competition Results
2013 Davidson Competition
Three out of the four awards in mathematics went to RSI and PRIMES students. Congratulations Laureates!
William Kuszmaul of PRIMES received a $10,000 scholarship for the project, "Equivalence Classes of Permutations Created Under Pattern-Replacement Relations" (mentor Darij Grinberg).
Joshua Brakensiek of RSI 2012 received a $10,000 scholarship for the project, "Bounds on the Size of Sound Monotone Switching Networks Accepting Permutation Sets of Directed Trees" (mentor Aaron Potechin).
Jacob McNamara of RSI 2012 received an honorable mention for the project, "A Bound on the Norm of Shortest Vectors in Lattices Arising from CM Number Fields" (mentor Mitka Vaintrob).
June 2013: Staff Infinite Mile Awards
Staff Infinite Mile Awardees
Debbie Bower, Shirley Entzminger, Susan Ferguson and Avisha Lalla received the Infinite Mile Award of the School of Science for their tremendous contributions to the Mathematics Department. The Award recognizes those individuals who have gone Above and Beyond in their work.
June 2013: Career Development Chairs
June 2013: Graduate Awards
June 2013: Undergraduate Awards
May 2013: PRIMES Conference
May 2013: National Academy of Sciences
April 2013: Putnam Competition Results
February 2013: Sloan Research Fellowships
February 2013: Kelner Teaching Prize
January 2013: Walton and Duarte Awards
January 2013: Chia-Chiao Lin, 1916-2013
January 2013: David Jerison wins Bergman Prize
David Jerison wins Bergman Prize
David Jerison is a co-winner, with his collaborator Jack Lee (University of Washington), of the 2012 Bergman Prize.
January 2013: Mike Artin Receives Wolf Prize
Mike Artin Receives Wolf Prize
The Wolf Foundation has recently announced that Mike Artin will receive the Wolf Prize in Mathematics. Israel's President Shimon Peres will officially award the prizes this spring.
December 2012: Our 2012 Newsletter 1ntegraL is Out!
October 2012: PRIMES and RSI successes and Alice T. Schafer Prize
October 2012: PRIMES and RSI successes
September 2012: Davidson Fellow Laureates
September 2012: Welcome
August 2012: Student Awards
July 2012: Sutherland Receives Selfridge Prize
July 2012: Seidel and Guionnet Chosen as Simons Investigators
May 2012: Students Honored at Awards Ceremony
April 2012: Faculty Committee Announces Award Recipients
April 2012: Faculty Awards - Kac, Berger, Poonen
February 2012: Awards - Rodriguez-Wong, Sutherland, McGrath
Nov 2011: AMS and Fermat Announcements
David Vogan to be next
AMS President starting 2013.
Igor Rodnianski, co-recipient
of the 2011 Fermat Prize.
Nov 2011: Alice T. Schafer Prize
Alice T. Schafer Prize
Senior math major Fan Wei won the Alice T. Schafer Prize for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.
In the past five years our students won at least an honorable mention in this award, making this now an amazing six-year run.
Oct 2011: Integral
Aug 2011: New Faculty Chairs
New Faculty Endowed Chair Appointments
Gil Strang has been appointed as MathWorks Professor, a new endowed chair in our department.
Mark Behrens has been appointed to the Cecil and Ida B. Green Career Development Chair.
June 2011: Loeve Prize
Professor Scott Sheffield has been awarded the Loeve Prize.
May 2011: Royal Society
Professor James McKernan has been elected a new Fellow of the Royal Society.
May 2011: Student Awards
Johnson Prize for Research
Congratulations to Vedran Sohinger and Steven Sivek, who have both been awarded the Johnson Prize for Research.
Housman Award for Teaching
Congratulations to Linan Chen and Joel Lewis for receiving the Housman Award for Teaching.
Bucsela Prize for Undergraduate Achievement
Congratulations to Alexandr Zamorzaev who has won the Bucsela Prize for Undergraduate Achievement.
Anna Pogosyants Award for a UROP in CSAIL
Congratulations to Paul Christiano for winning the Anna Pogosyants Award for a UROP in CSAIL.
May 2011: PRIMES - Conference
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Room 4-370, MIT
Open to the public
Faculty, Instructors, and graduate students interested in mentoring or proposing projects for PRIMES in the future are encouraged to attend.
April 2011: Faculty Awards - Berger, Kelner, Shor
Bonnie Berger has been invited to give the prestigious Margaret Pittman Lecture, sponsored annually by the National Institute of Health.
Jon Kelner received MIT's Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award which recognizes a junior faculty member for exceptional distinction in teaching and research.
Peter Shor was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
April 2011: Simons Lecture and Peter Shor
Peter Shor was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
April 20 − April 27
Steven Strogatz (Cornell University)
Title: Sync, Balance, and Blog
Manjul Bhargava (Princeton University)
Title: Orbits of Group Representations and Arithmetic
April 2011: Poonen - Guggenheim Fellowship
February 2011: Demanet - Sloan Research Fellowship
January 2011: Faculty Awards - Vogan, Mrowka, Poonen
Professor David Vogan is awarded the Conant Prize for his article, "The character table for E8."
Professor Tom Mrowka shares the Doob Prize with Peter Kronheimer for their book "Monopoles and Three-Manifolds."
Professor Bjorn Poonen is awarded the Chauvenet Prize for his paper, "Undecidability in number theory."
January 2011: IAP
December 2010: MIT School Of Science Colloquium
MIT SCHOOL OF SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM
Jim Simons, President of Euclidean Capital and Founder and Chairman of the Board of Renaissance Technologies
Thursday, December 9, 2010
3:45pm - Community Reception (4-349)
4:15pm - Colloquium and Q&A (10-250)
November 2010: Katrin Wehrheim
November 2010: Schafer Prize 2010
2011 Alice T. Schafer Honorable Mentions
Congratulations to Fan Wei and Yinghui Wang!
They have been selected to receive Honorable Mentions in the 2011 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Excellence in Mathematics.
October 2010: Wiener Lectures
Interpolation of Data in Rn
October 21, 22 and 26th
4:30 - 5:30pm
Lectures 1 & 2: Room 4-237
Lecture 3: Room 4-270
September 2010: Integral 2010
September 2010: Welcome
Welcome to the new academic year
August 2010: Women in Math Website
May 2010: Denes Prize
Congratulations Jacob Fox
Our new Assistant Professor and Simons Fellow Jacob Fox was awarded SIAM's Dénes König Prize for work in Discrete Mathematics.
June 2010: Faculty Chairs
New Faculty Chairs
May 2010: Sarah Smith and Charmaine Sia
A huge Thank You to Sarah Smith
for doing a wonderful job as our Administrative Officer.
Senior Academic Award
Congratulations Charmaine Sia!
Charmaine has won the 2010 Institute-wide AMITA Senior Academic Award.
April 2010: Tom Mrowka
Congratulations Tom Mrowka!
Tom is smiling because he received a
April 2010: Simons Lectures
April 28 - May 5th 2010
4:30pm, Room 4-370
Lecture 3: Towards probabilistic mirror symmetry
Reception at 4:00pm in 2-290
April 2010: Student Awards
Senior math major Maria Monks is a recipient of the prestigious
Hertz Fellowship worth $250,000.
Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Senior Yufei Zhao, a math and computer science major, is one of three MIT students awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
March 2010: Putnam Competition and 2010 Intel Science Talent Search
Congratulations to our first place team and to all participants for achieving extraordinary results in this year's competition!
2010 Intel Science Talent Search
March 2010: Putnam Competition
March 2010: William Velez Talk
February 2010: Abhinav Kumar and Jonathan Kelner
NEW Faculty Awards!
January 2010: Toby Colding and Paul Seidel
January 2010: Ken Kamrin and Maria Monks
December 2009: Dan Nicholas
Infinite K Award
Congratulations to Dan Nicholas, a recipient of the Infinite K Award from the MIT School of Science.
December 2009: John Bush
New APS Fellow
Congratulations to John Bush for his election
as a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
July 2009: Scott Sheffield
Scott Sheffield to Receive PECASE Award
Professor Scott Sheffield has been named as one of the recipients of the 2009 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). It is the highest distinction awarded by the government of the United States to scientists and engineers beginning their careers.
Scott will be presented the award at a ceremony in the White House this fall.
...official White House press release. [No longer available]
June 2009: Integral
The Autumn 2009 Integral is Out!
April 2009: Strang and Sipser