AWM Sadosky Research Prize in Analysis

2020 Winner: Mihaela Ignatova


The 2020 AWM Sadosky Research Prize in Analysis is awarded to Mihaela Ignatova, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Temple University, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver, CO in January 2020. This prize is in recognition of Ignatova’s contributions to the analysis of partial differential equations, in particular in fluid mechanics.

Ignatova received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Southern California and has held appointments at the University of California-Riverside, Stanford University, and Princeton University before assuming her current position at Temple University. She works on challenging analytical questions motivated by fundamental questions in geophysics, fluid dynamics, biology and material science. The breadth of her work is impressive, spanning from unique continuation properties of elliptic and parabolic equations, to fluid-structure interaction problems and to nonlocal models of electroconvection. For example, her work with Kukavica and Ryzhik extends considerably the validity of Harnack inequality to second-order operators with rough drifts.

Her remarkable technical abilities are evident in several of her works, in particular in her study, joint with Peter Constantin, of the critical Surface-Quasi-Geostrophic equation in bounded domains. Ignatova developed a new approach to deal with boundaries, which provides also an alternative approach for the case without boundaries. Ignatova’s work on fluid-structure interaction problems, joint work with Kukavica, Lasiecka, and Tuffaha, establishes well-posedness of a system coupling the fluid equations with a wave equation for an elastic structure with a moving free interface, and it is highly nontrivial. This work highlights again Ignatova’s outstanding analytical skills, her unusual creativity, and her focus on physically important problems, for which the underlying mathematical analysis is technically extremely challenging.

Her publication record already amassed seventeen highly regarded papers, which appeared in first rate analysis journals, including Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis, Communications in Partial Differential Equations, Journal of Differential Equations, and the SIAM Journal of Mathematical Analysis.

Ignatova is among the most talented young analysts in fluid mechanics and partial differential equations and is poised to become a leader in the field. She deserves the recognition that the AWM Sadosky Prize provides.

Response from Mihaela Ignatova

I am truly honored to receive the AWM Sadosky Research Prize in Analysis. The area of my research, analysis of PDEs, relies much on the methods of harmonic analysis, the field of Cora Sadosky, and it is a privilege to be recognized among the many excellent people who work in analysis. It’s particularly gratifying to be awarded this prize by AWM, an organization whose support for women in mathematics is of great importance to society.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people who helped me to become a research mathematician. My masters thesis advisor Emil Horozov impressed me with his knowledge and brilliance, and encouraged me to pursue a career in math. I am greatly indebted to Igor Kukavica, who was my doctoral advisor and continues to be my collaborator, for his honest, uncompromising and deep approach to mathematical research, and I thank him for his kind and thoughtful mentorship over the years.

I appreciate very much the opportunities I have had to work with powerful and creative collaborators in the area of analysis of PDEs originating from fluid mechanics and physics. I also wish to thank the leading mathematicians working in my area with whom I interact and from whom I have learned a lot, and who continue to inspire me.