AWM Dissertation Prize 2019

Ebru Toprak and Jiuya Wang to receive the third annual Association for Women in Mathematics Dissertation Prize

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 award is intended to be based entirely on the dissertation itself, not on other work of the individual.

Ebru Toprak and Jiuya Wang will be presented with AWM Dissertation Prizes at the AWM Reception and Awards Presentation at the 2019 JMM in Baltimore, MD.

Ebru Toprak obtained her PhD in 2018 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Burak Erdogan. Her work has been recognized through numerous awards, including the 2017 James D. Hogan Memorial Scholarship and the 2017 Waldemar J., Barbara G. and Juliette Alexandra Trjitznsky Fellowship, both from UIUC.  Toprak is visiting the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley until December 2018. After her visit, she will join Rutgers University as a Hill Assistant Professor.

Toprak’s research interests are in harmonic analysis and dispersive PDEs. Her dissertation provides new decay estimates for the potentials of the linear Schrödinger operator and of the linear massive Dirac operator in endpoint Lebesgue spaces setting, in dimensions 2 and 3 and under suitable assumptions on the threshold energies. Ebru’s work has led to several publications, including the single-authored paper “A weighted estimate for two dimensional Schrödinger, matrix Schrödinger and wave equations with resonance of the first kind at zero energy,” Journal of Spectral Theory 7 (2017), 1235–1284, and the paper “Dispersive estimates for Dirac operators in dimension three with obstructions at threshold energies,” with B. Erdogan and W. Green, to appear in the American Journal of Mathematics.

Her results are deemed “surprising’’; her collaborators acknowledge that “[they] have benefited and continue to benefit greatly from working with [her]’’ and that she has already made “several important contributions on notably difficult problems in PDEs.’’

Jiuya Wang received her PhD in 2018 under Melanie Matchett Wood at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is now a Phillip Griffiths Assistant Research Professor and a Foerster-Bernstein Fellow at Duke University. She has received several honors and awards for her research and teaching contributions.

Wang works in arithmetic statistics, a branch of number theory. In her PhD thesis she proved Malle’s conjecture for infinitely many non-abelian Galois groups. Malle had conjectured an asymptotic formula, which was later refined, for the number of degree n extensions K over ℚ with Galois closure having Galois group G. Malle’s conjecture is still a central question in arithmetic statistics. The letter writers describe her work as “beautiful” and “impressive.” One writes that her work “is a serious analytic accomplishment and I expect it to be published in a top number theory journal.” Another writes “Dr. Wang also has many further ideas to use her unique mastery of these subjects, as developed in her thesis, to study related problems” and that “she has already made significant advances in these directions as well.” The letter writers concur that her thesis demonstrates a high level of ingenuity, originality and technical mastery. In addition, they expect many applications to the field of arithmetic statistics from the methods she developed in her dissertation.

Response from Wang. I am deeply honored to receive the AWM Dissertation Prize. I would like to thank those who nominated me for this prize and who recognized my work. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped me to grow during my graduate school years. In particular, I am extremely grateful to my advisor Melanie Matchett Wood for opening a door for me that connects to many deep ideas in number theory in so beautiful and exciting ways, and for being an amazing model on how one could study mathematics in such an interesting way. I would like to thank my wonderful collaborators who make working together a happier time. I am also grateful to the leading experts in my area for their significant works that my thesis is building on, and for many helpful discussions from which they have generously shared ideas and suggestions. Last but not the least, I will always be grateful to the number theory group in University of Wisconsin, Madison for creating a friendly and caring environment.