MEDIA RELEASE — March 7, 2017

Canadian Mathematical Society

March 7, 2017

Stephanie van Willigenburg to receive the 2017 CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize for her exceptional contributions to mathematical research

Prof. van Willigenburg is a leading expert in algebraic combinatorics whose research and discoveries focus on Schur functions

Stephanie van Willigenburg
(University of British Columbia)

OTTAWA — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Professor Stephanie van Willigenburg (University of British Columbia) has been named the recipient of the 2017 CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize for her exceptional contributions to mathematical research. Prof. van Willigenburg will present a lecture and receive her award in conjunction with the Mathematical Congress of the Americas in July 2017.

Prof. van Willigenburg is a leading expert in algebraic combinatorics, a vibrant area of mathematics that connects with many other fields of study including representation theory, algebraic geometry, mathematical physics, topology and probability. Her research and subsequent discoveries have focused on Schur functions, skew Schur functions and quasisymmetric Schur functions, central topics within the field of algebraic combinatorics.

In their letter of nomination, Leah Edelstein-Keshet (University of British Columbia) and Andrew Rechnitzer (University of British Columbia) remarked that: “Prof. van Willigenburg’s discovery of a basis of quasisymmetric Schur functions was immediately recognized by the wider algebraic community as fundamentally significant and an important breakthrough.”

Prof. van Willigenburg was born in Southampton, England and obtained her PhD in Pure Mathematics from the University of St Andrews, Scotland (1998). From 1997, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at York University before accepting a visiting assistant professorship at Cornell University from 2000 to 2002.

In 2002, she joined the University of British Columbia, where she held an NSERC University Faculty Award (2002-2007). She earned the rank of full professor in 2012 and currently serves as the associate head for research in the University of British Columbia’s Mathematics Department.

Prof. van Willigenburg is one of the co-founders and organizers of the Algebraic Combinatorixx workshops at the Banff International Research Station to foster mentoring, collaborations and networking for women in algebraic combinatorics and related areas.

Her awards for research include being appointed a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Scholar (1997-2000), a Peter Wall IAS Early Career Scholar in 2004 and being awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship in 2008. She has given numerous plenary lectures, and in 2008 Prof. van Willigenburg received the Killam Award for her teaching at the University of British Columbia.

About the Krieger-Nelson Prize

The CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize was inaugurated to recognize outstanding research by a female mathematician. The Krieger-Nelson Prize was first awarded in 1995 to recognize female mathematicians who have made valuable contributions in the area of mathematical research. The Krieger-Nelson Prize is jointly named for Cecelia Krieger and Evelyn Nelson – two women who have had a profound impact in the area of mathematical research in Canada. For information about past recipients visit: Krieger-Nelson Prize

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including: scientific meetings; publications; awards; prizes; grants; camps and competitions. As the national math association, the CMS represents Canada internationally to other societies as well as organizations such as the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Bingöl-Phillips
Communications and Special Projects Coordinator
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662 ext. 728
or Prof. Nantel Bergeron (York)
Chair, CMS Research Committee

Tel: (416) 736-5250