AWM Dissertation Prizes

In January 2016 the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics established the AWM Dissertation Prize, an annual award for up to three outstanding PhD dissertations presented by female mathematical scientists and defended during the 24 months preceding the deliberations for the award.

The Prizes will be given for those dissertations deemed most outstanding by the award committee.

Nomination Period: August 1 – September 15

Nomination Location: All nominations can be made at To locate the nomination form in MathPrograms, click on  “View Programs” at the top right of the page. Scroll down to the programs listed for “Association for Women in Mathematics” and click “Nominate” next to the AWM Dissertation Prize.

Nominator: Any person can be a nominator! People of any gender can be a nominator, self nominations are allowed, and you do not need to be an AWM member to nominate someone for this award.

Nomination Packet: A nomination packet should include:

  • A one to three-page letter of nomination highlighting the exceptional mathematical research presented in the dissertation;
  • A copy of the dissertation and/or a URL address where it can be accessed;
  • Two letters supporting the nomination;
  • The candidate’s curriculum vitae, not to exceed three pages.

Additional Information: When preparing nomination, supporting letters, and CV, the nominator may wish to provide additional information about the nominee’s work and record.  For example, please note any of the following if relevant:

  • Publication of results, and if no publications, concrete proof of the dissertation’s impact, like through specific citations, or letters citing publications that arose from the dissertation;
  • Presentation of the work in a venue other than the home institution;
  • Recognition by the student’s university;
  • Citations (e.g., via Google Scholar or in talks) of the work by other researchers;
  • Application of the work in industry;
  • Patents filed on aspects of the dissertation;
  • Description of the impact of this work on the field of mathematics, such as noting the mathematical contributions that arose directly from the dissertation.

All submitted materials become the property of the AWM.

Award Criteria: The award is intended to be based entirely on the dissertation itself, not on other work of the individual. The Prizes will be given for those dissertations deemed most outstanding by the award committee.

Nominee Requirements. To be eligible for the award a graduate student must have defended their dissertation within the last two years, between September 15, YEAR-2  to September 14, YEAR (where YEAR is the present year). They must either be a US citizen or have graduated from university in the US. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination. Nominations of women from underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged. 

Presentation of Award. The award will be presented at the AWM Reception and Awards Presentation at the Joint Mathematics Meetings each January. The recipient will receive $500, and will be featured in an article in the AWM Newsletter.

2022   Jinyoung Park, Rita Teixeira da Costa, and Heather Denise Wilber

2021   Michelle Feng, Kathryn Link, and Isabel Vogt

2020   Elena Giorgi, Lisa Sauermann, and Nicole Looper

2019   Ebru Toprak and Jiuya Wang

2018   Jessica Fintzen, Maja Tasković and Xiaochuan Tian

2017   Dana Mendelson, Emily Sergel, and Yunqing Tang

Questions? Call the AWM Administrative Specialist at 401-455-4042 or email