Mathematics Professor Goldin Receives First Michler Prize

Posted: March 30, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Rebecca Goldin
Rebecca Goldin

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Cornell University announced that Rebecca Goldin, Mason associate professor of mathematics, will receive the first annual Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize.

According to AWM, the Michler Prize is unique in granting a mid-career woman in academe a residential fellowship in the Cornell University mathematics department without teaching obligations. The fellowship will be for the fall 2007 semester.

A press release from AWM stated, “The high quality of proposals submitted this first year attests to the need for such opportunities. Rebecca Goldin was selected to receive the Michler Prize because of her past achievements and future promise.”

“I’m really looking forward to collaborating with some top mathematicians in my field at Cornell. It’s a great opportunity for me, and I feel honored to be the first woman chosen to receive this prize,” Goldin says.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with honors from Harvard University, Goldin spent a year in France at the Ecole Normale Superieure collaborating with mathematician Bernard Teissier.

She then returned to Cambridge to pursue her doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked under the direction of Victor Guillemin, who won the American Mathematical Society’s lifetime achievement award in 2003.

A two-and-a-half-year National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland was followed by an appointment at Mason.

In 2004, Goldin became director of research for Statistical Assessment Services, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Mason, in addition to her responsibilities as a professor in mathematics. In 2006, she received tenure and was promoted to associate professor.

Goldin’s research investigates sympletic geometry, a field that arose from the study of geometric structures underlying classical and quantum physics and has become important in modern differential geometry.

According to AWM, “Her work has been called ‘influential,’ ‘elegant,’ ‘precise,’ and has been funded by two separate NSF research grants.”

At Cornell, Goldin plans to collaborate on investigations with Tara Holm, Reyer Sjamaar and Ed Swartz.

The Michler Prize was funded by the parents of Ruth Michler, a promising young mathematician who died in a tragic accident.

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