Heather Wilber Awarded AWM Dissertation Prize

Mon, 11/29/2021

Heather Wilber (Ph.D. ’21) is one of three recipients of the sixth annual Association for Women in Mathematics Dissertation Prize. Prizes will be presented to Wilber and the other recipients on January 5, 2022 during the Joint Prize Ceremony at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle, WA.

Established in 2016, the AWM Dissertation Prize is an annual award given to up to three outstanding Ph.D. 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.

Wilber received her Ph.D. this year from the Center for Applied Mathematics under the direction of Professor Alex Townsend. She is currently an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Oden Institute, University of Texas at Austin.

Wilber’s interests include approximation theory, numerical linear algebra, and scientific computing. In her beautifully written dissertation “Computing numerically with rational functions,” Wilber presents new numerical methods using rational functions for solving Sylvester and Lyapunov matrix equations whose right-hand sides have decaying singular values. She brings a tremendous breadth of mathematics together to do this, combining rational approximation theory in the complex plane, including associated conformal mapping problems, and numerical linear algebra, focusing on the important and hot topic of low-rank approximation. In addition, the thesis develops a rational approximation framework for adaptive computing in the context of signal processing.

Read more on the AWM’s website. Congratulations Heather!

Heather Wilber