May 28, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 17

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    Two mathematicians garner fellowships

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    Mathematicians at the University have received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Mathematical Society.

    Wilhelm Schlag, Professor in Mathematics and the College, received a Guggenheim fellowship award, one of 180 given this year to artists, scientists and scholars from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants. Guggenheim fellows are appointed on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment.

    The American Mathematical Society has awarded Antonio Montalban, Assistant Professor in Mathematics and the College, a Centennial fellowship for the 2009-10 academic year. The AMS presents the Centennial fellowship annually to outstanding mathematicians who have held the doctoral degree for between three and 12 years. The primary selection criterion is research excellence.

    Schlag specializes in harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. His Guggenheim will support a project titled “Blowup and longtime existence for nonlinear hyperbolic equations.”
    In 2001, Schlag received an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship. Before his appointment to Chicago in 2005, he held faculty positions at the California Institute of Technology and Princeton University. He also is a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley.

    Among his publications, Schlag has co-edited a book, Spectral Theory and Mathematical Physics: A Festschrift in Honor of Barry Simon’s 60th Birthday (2007).

    Schlag has given invited talks at universities across the nation and in Germany, Sweden, Portugal and Canada.

    This marks the second consecutive year that a mathematics student or faculty member from the University has received an AMS fellowship. Last year, Travis Schedler (Ph.D.,’08), received the fellowship that the society presents annually to a new Ph.D. who has the potential to leave a lasting mark on mathematics.

    Montalban received his bachelor’s degree at the Universidad de la Republica, in Uruguay, where he grew up. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 from Cornell University.

    A former Dickson Instructor in Mathematics, Montalban also completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand. He returned to the Chicago mathematics faculty in 2007.

    Montalban specializes in computability theory in the field of logic. He is generally interested in measuring the complexity of proofs and constructions from classical mathematics.

    He plans to use his fellowship to visit Berkeley, among other places, and to conduct research on Laver’s theorem and other theorems that seem to require proofs of particularly high complexity.