Current Members of the Scientific Advisory Board

Nassif Ghoussoub (Chair) (University of British Columbia) - Non-linear Analysis, Partial Differential Equations
Martin Barlow (University of British Columbia)
Kai Behrend (University of British Columbia) - Algebraic Geometry
Krzysztof Burdzy (University of Washington) - Stochastic Analysis, related problems in Potential Theory and Partial Differential Equations, and Foundations of Probability Theory
Maria Chudnovsky (Princeton University) - Graph Theory and Combinatorics
Andrew Eckford (York University) - Information Theory and Signal Processing
Pengfei Guan (McGill University) - Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and Geometric Analysis
Paul Gustafson (University of British Columbia) - Statistical Theory and Applications
Thomas Hillen (University of Alberta) - Mathematical Biology
Viqar Husain (University of New Brunswick) - Theoretical Physics -- General Relativity and Quantum Gravity
Nalini Joshi (University of Sydney) - Non-linear differential and difference equations
Matilde Lalin (Université de Montrèal) - Number Theory
Ayelet Lindenstrauss (Indiana University) - Algebraic Topology, Homological Algebra, and Algebraic K-Theory
Colin Macdonald (University of British Columbia)
Peter McCullagh (University of Chicago) - Statistical theory and Applications
Alex Mogilner (New York University) - Mathematical Biology, Cell Biology and Biophysics
Irena Peeva (Cornell University) - Commutative Algebra
Cheryl Praeger (University of Western Australia) - Group Theory, Combinatorics, Discrete Mathematics and Geometry
Nancy Reid (University of Toronto ) - Statistics
Gordon Semenoff (University of British Columbia) - Particle & Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics
Frank Sottile (Texas A & M University) - Algebraic Combinatorics and the Applications of Algebraic Geometry
Benny Sudakov (ETH, Zurich) - Combinatorics
Dan Voiculescu (University of California, Berkeley) - Free Probability Theory and Operator Algebras
Mary F. Wheeler (University of Texas at Austin) - Computational Science
Daniel Wise (McGill University) - Geometric Group Theory and 3-manifolds

Bio sketches


Nassif Ghoussoub (Chair) (University of British Columbia)

Nassif Ghoussoub obtained his Doctorat d'état in 1979 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France and is currently a Professor of Mathematics and a Distinguished University Scholar at the University of British Columbia. His present research interests are in non-linear analysis and partial differential equations. He was the recipient of the Coxeter-James prize in 1990, and of a Killam senior fellowship in 1992. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctorat Honoris Causa by the Université Paris-Dauphine, and in 2015, he was named Doctor of Science Honoris Causa by the University of Victoria. The Canadian Mathematical Society awarded him the Jeffrey Williams Prize in 2007, and the David Borwein Distinguished Career Award in 2010. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1993, and was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2015.

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Martin Barlow (University of British Columbia)

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Kai Behrend (University of British Columbia)

Kai Behrend received his PhD from the University of California in Berkeley in 1991. He held postdoctoral positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Max-Planck-Institute in Bonn, before joining the faculty of the University of British Columbia in 1995. He held visiting positions at RIMS (Kyoto), MSRI (Berkeley), the Fields Institute (Toronto), Imperial College (London), and Oxford University. He received the Coxeter-James and the Jeffery-Williams prizes of the Canadian Mathematical Society, the PIMS-Fields-CRM research prize, and was invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, 2014. Kai Behrend’s research is in Algebraic Geometry, specifically moduli spaces. He as made foundational contributions to both Gromov-Witten theory and Donaldson-Thomas theory.

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Krzysztof Burdzy (University of Washington)

Krzysztof Burdzy received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984. He joined the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1988, where he is currently a professor of mathematics and adjunct professor of statistics. He received the Rollo Davidson Prize in 1992 and the Carver Medal of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2016. His research interests include stochastic analysis, related problems in potential theory and partial differential equations, and foundations of probability theory.

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Maria Chudnovsky (Princeton University)

Maria Chudnovsky received her B.A. and M.Sc. form the Technion, and a PhD from Princeton University in 2003. Currently she is a professor at Princeton. Before returning to Princeton in 2015, she was a Veblen Research Instructor at Princeton University and the IAS, an assistant professor at Princeton, a Clay Mathematics Institute research fellow and a Liu Family Professor of IEOR at Columbia University. Her research interests are in graph theory and combinatorics. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Graph Theory. Dr. Chudnovsky was a part of a team of four researchers that proved the strong perfect graph theorem, a 40-year-old conjecture that had been a well-known open problem in both graph theory and combinatorial optimization. For this work, she was awarded the Ostrowski foundation research stipend in 2003, and the prestigious Fulkerson prize in 2009. She was also named one of the "brilliant ten" young scientists by the Popular Science magazine. In 2012, Dr. Chudnovsky received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In 2014, she was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians.

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Andrew Eckford (York University)

Andrew Eckford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, Toronto, Ontario. He received the B.Eng. degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1996, and the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto in 1999 and 2004, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. Andrew held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Toronto, prior to taking up a faculty position at York in 2006. Andrew’s research interests include the application of information theory to nonconventional channels and systems, especially the use of molecular and biological means to communicate. Andrew's research has been covered in media including The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, and was a finalist for the 2014 Bell Labs Prize. Andrew is also a co-author of the textbook Molecular Communication, published by Cambridge University Press.

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Pengfei Guan (McGill University)

Pengfei Guan is a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University. He received his Ph.D in Mathematics at Princeton University in 1989. He held previous teaching positions at McMaster University. His research interests include Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and Geometric Analysis. He is a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship Award (1993-1995). He holds a Canada Research Chair title (tier I, 2005). In 2008, he was inducted as a Fellow of Royal Society of Canada, and in 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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Paul Gustafson (University of British Columbia)

Paul Gustafson is a Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1994. His research spans topics such as Bayesian methodology, causal inference, evidence synthesis, measurement error, and partial identification, with an emphasis on biostatistical and epidemiological applications throughout. He has published two research monographs, on measurement error and misclassification (2004) and partial identification (2015) respectively. Paul received the CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics in 2008, and was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2011. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Statistics, and he is currently the Special Editor for Statistics at the journal Epidemiology. Paul is a founding Co-Director of the Master of Data Science program at UBC, which launched in 2016.

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Thomas Hillen (University of Alberta)

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Viqar Husain (University of New Brunswick)

Viqar Husain is a Professor of Applied Mathematics in the University of New Brunswick. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Manchester and his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Yale University (1989). His research interests span classical and quantum aspects of gravity. He is known for work on self-dual gravity, exact solutions to Einstein's equations, and non-perturbative approaches to quantum gravity. He is an APS Outstanding Referee (2008) and received the First Award of the Gravity Research Foundation in 1999. He served as Scientific Director of the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (2008-2011), and presently serves on its Board.

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Nalini Joshi (University of Sydney)

Professor Nalini Joshi AO is Payne-Scott Professor, Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney, and a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow.

Professor Joshi was born and spent her early childhood in Burma, before her family emigrated to Australia. She was awarded a BSc (Hons) by the University of Sydney and then a PhD by Princeton University in the USA.

In 2012, Professor Joshi was awarded an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship to work on the five-year project Geometric Construction of Critical Solutions of Nonlinear Systems which has a component to attract and retain female researchers in STEMM. She was a foundation co-Chair of the SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) initiative jointly managed by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, which led to a pilot of the Athena SWAN scheme in Australia.

In 2015, she was chosen as the London Mathematical Society’s 150th anniversary special Hardy fellow and lecturer; and in 2016 was a CBMS-NSF lecturer in the USA. In the 2016 Queen’s Birthday honours, Professor Joshi was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to mathematical science and tertiary education as an academic, author and researcher, to professional societies, and as a role model and mentor of young mathematicians.

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Matilde Lalin (Université de Montrèal)

Matilde Lalin is an associate professor at the Université de Montréal. She received her PhD in 2005 from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a Harrington Fellow. She was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study, a Clay Liftoff Fellow, a PIMS postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta before moving to her present institution. In addition, she held visiting positions at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Institut des hautes études scientifiques, and the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics. Her research interests lie in Number Theory and related areas and they include Mahler measure, special values of L-functions, and arithmetic statistics. She has written more than 25 articles in these topics.

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Ayelet Lindenstrauss (Indiana University)

Ayelet Lindenstrauss did her undergraduate studies at the Hebrew University and got her Ph.D. in 1992 from Princeton University. She held postdoctoral positions in the University of Pennsylvania and at the Technion and spent a year at the University of Missouri before coming to Indiana University, where she is now a Professor of Mathematics. She was a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in 2007 and a Research Professor at MSRI in 2014. She is an algebraic topologist, particularly interested in trace-type approximations of algebraic K-theory.

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Colin Macdonald (University of British Columbia)

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Peter McCullagh (University of Chicago)

Peter grew up in Northern Ireland. Before moving to Chicago, he obtained his Bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Birmingham, and his doctoral degree in statistics from Imperial College. He has held visiting positions at the University of British Columbia and at Bell Labs. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society. Peter's research focuses on probabilistic modelling, statistical theory, and the application of statistical methods in diverse areas, particularly in scientific research such as biostatistics, agricultural research, ecology and animal behaviour. Recent probabilistic work includes boson point processes, exchangeability and random discrete structures such as random partitions, Gibbs random trees, random graphs and so on. Recent statistical work has focused on health monitoring and survival processes. Peter is the author of two books, Tensor Methods in Statistics, and Generalized Linear Models, with co-author John Nelder. He has served as editor of the journal Bernoulli, and as an associate editor of Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, and the Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics.

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Alex Mogilner (New York University)

Alex Mogilner received his PhD in Mathematics in 1995 from the University of British Columbia. He then was a postdoctoral fellow in Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, and from 1996 to 2014 worked at the University of California at Davis. Alex is a Professor of Mathematics and Biology at the Courant Institute and Department of Biology, New York University. Alex served on editorial boards of many journals including Cell, Biophysical Journal, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Molecular Biology of the Cell, and was a panel chair at NIH. His research interests are in Mathematical Biology, Cell Biology and Biophysics; he does research on mathematical and computational modeling of cell motility and cell division, and experimental research on galvanotaxis.

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Irena Peeva (Cornell University)

Irena Peeva obtained her Ph.D. in 1995 from Brandeis University under the guidance of David Eisenbud. After holding a C.L.E. Moore Instructorship at M.I.T., she joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1998. Her research interests are in Commutative Algebra and its connections to Algebraic Geometry, Combinatorics, Computational Algebra, Subspace Arrangements, and Noncommutative Algebra, with special emphasis on Free Resolutions, Hilbert Schemes and Hilbert Functions. She is the author of the book Graded Syzygies, published by Springer. Peeva was invited to deliver a Plenary Address at the National Meeting of the AMS (generally known as the Joint Mathematics Meeting) in 2015 and a Plenary Address at the CMS Summer Meeting in 2013. She received a Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (1994/1995), C.L.E. Moore Instructorship at M.I.T. (1995-1998), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1999-2001), NSF CAREER Grant (2004-2009), Simons Foundation Fellowship (2012/2013), and is an AMS Fellow since 2013.

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Cheryl Praeger (University of Western Australia)

Cheryl Praeger is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. She was formerly an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow (2007-2012) and was the inaugural Director of the Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation at UWA (2010-2013). Her research work has transformed our understanding of how groups act on large complex systems, through new theories, constructions, algorithms and designs, which exploit the classification of the finite simple groups.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Western Australia she was a Research Fellow at the Australian National University and taught for a semester at the University of Virginia. She has taught in the Mathematics and Statistics program at UWA and was Head of the Department of Mathematics 1992-94, inaugural Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies 1996-98, Chair of the Promotions and Tenure Committee 2000-04, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics 2003-06, and an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow 2007.

Professor Praeger received BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Queensland, a DPhil degree from the University of Oxford in 1973, and has received honorary doctorates from Universities in Thailand, Belgium, Iran and Scotland. She has served on the Executive of the International Mathematical Union and is Vice President of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction. She is Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, an Honorary member of the London Mathematical Society, and she was the first woman to be President of the Australian Mathematical Society of which she is now an Honorary Life Member.

Professor Praeger has published more than 360 journal articles and four research monographs, many of them with her students (30 PhD students, 10 research masters students, 21 postdoctoral research associates) and research colleagues. She has played an active role supporting and mentoring young scientists, especially women. The Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society named their travel awards for her. She has received a University of Western Australia award for excellence in teaching, and an Australian government Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Professor Praeger was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 1999, and awarded a Centenary Medal for her contributions to Mathematics in Australia, especially through research and service to professional societies. She is a recipient of a number of awards including the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science and the George Szekeres Medal of the Australian Mathematical Society. She was named 2009 Western Australian Scientist of the Year, and was the 2015 inductee into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame. She was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 1996, and serves as its Foreign Secretary 2014-2018. She represents the Australian Academy of Science on the Executive Board of the Inter-Academy Partnership IAP-Science.

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Nancy Reid (University of Toronto )

Nancy Reid is University Professor of Statistics at the University of Toronto. She received her Bachelor of Mathematics in 1974 from the University of Waterloo, her MSc in 1976 from the University of British Columbia, and her Ph.D. in 1979 from Stanford University. She held an academic appointment at the University of British Columbia from 1980-1986 and has held visiting appointments at Imperial College, London, Harvard University and the University of Texas at Austin. She is a former vice-president of the International Statistical Institute, and a former President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, a recipient of the Presidents' Award of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, the first recipient of the Canadian Mathematical Society's Krieger-Nelson Prize Lectureship, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics' Wald lecturer for 2000. Her research interests include inferential statistics with special emphasis on asymptotic theory for likelihood based inference, design of experiments, and applications of statistics to health and environment.

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Gordon Semenoff (University of British Columbia)

Gordon Semenoff is a theoretical physicist and is Professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia. His research spans a wide range of theoretical subjects from condensed matter physics to string theory. He was awarded the CAP/CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics year 2000 and the Brockhouse Medal for Achievement in Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science in 2010. He was also awarded the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Gordon received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 1981, was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia in 1983. He has held visiting professorships at numerous institutions worldwide including the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, the Henri Poincare Institute in Paris and the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Bures-Sur-Yvette. Gordon has achieved international recognition for his 1984 pioneering work on the substance which later became known as graphene. His highly cited work which predated the discovery of graphene in the laboratory by 20 years was important for understanding that material and its remarkable electronic properties which have generated considerable excitement in fields spanning condensed matter physics, material science and electronics technology. Gordon is well known for contributions to quantum field theory, in particular for using mathematical index theorems to understand fractional charges and the discovery of the parity anomaly of odd-dimensional gauge theories. These ideas have had significant influence over the years and have recently come to the forefront in studies of topological insulators. His pioneering work on the real-time formulation of relativistic quantum field theories at non-zero temperature and density, including invention of the “Kobes-Semenoff rules”, are considered cornerstones of that subject. He has made important contributions to string theory. His computation of the Wilson loop in N = 4 Yang Mills theory is considered a classic and an important test of a duality between gauge fields and strings. His pioneering work in 2002 on string loop corrections to plane wave strings is considered seminal, not just for its results, but as the beginning of the integrability program of supersymmetric gauge theory and string theory which has been widely pursued over the ten years since.

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Frank Sottile (Texas A & M University)

Dr. Sottile is a Professor of Mathematics at Texas A&M University since 2004. He holds a Masters degree from Cambridge University (1986) and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1994). He has had appointments at the Universities of Toronto, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts, and the MSRI. He was the founding chair of the SIAM Activity group on Algebraic geometry and is a corresponding editor of the SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry. He was a Churchill Scholar, held an NSF Career award, and is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. His research interests are in algebraic combinatorics and the applications of algebraic geometry, including computational and real algebraic geometry.

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Benny Sudakov (ETH, Zurich)

Benny Sudakov got his Ph.D from Tel Aviv University in 1999, had appointments in Princeton University and Institute for Advanced Studies and is currently professor of mathematics in ETH, Zurich and UCLA. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award and was invited speaker at 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians. His main research interests are Combinatorics and its applications to other areas of mathematics and computer science.

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Dan Voiculescu (University of California, Berkeley)

Dan-Virgil Voiculescu is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley since 1987, He received his doctoral degree from the University of Bucharest in 1977 under the supervision of Ciprian Ilie Foias. Voiculescu's research contributions have been to single operator theory, representations of infinite dimensional groups, operator algebras and their K-theory, free probability theory and random matrices. He has given a sectional invited lecture at the ICM in 1983, a plenary invited lecture at the ICM in 1994, a plenary invited lecture at the Congress of the International Association for Mathematical Physics in 2003 and a plenary invited lecture at the Congress of the International Society for Analysis its Applications and Computation in 2015. Voiculescu has held an Aisenstadt Chair at CRM Montreal in Spring 1991 and an International Blaise Pascal Research Chair in 2003-2004 at Institut Mathematique de Jussieu in Paris. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and he received the National Academy of Sciences 2004 Award in Mathematics. Voiculescu is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and he recieved a honorary doctoral degree from the University of Waterloo.

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Mary F. Wheeler (University of Texas at Austin)

Mary Fanett Wheeler is a world-renowned expert in computational science. She has been a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin since 1995 and holds the Ernest and Virginia Cockrell Chair in the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. She is also director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling (CSM) at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES). Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, Dr. Wheeler was the Noah Harding Professor in engineering at Rice University in Houston.

Dr. Wheeler’s research group employs computer simulations to model the behavior of fluids in geological formations. Her particular research interests include numerical solution of partial differential systems with application to the modeling of subsurface flows and parallel computation. Applications of her research include multiphase flow and geomechanics in fractured porous media, contaminant transport in groundwater, and sequestration of carbon in geological formations. Dr. Wheeler has published more than 300 technical papers and edited seven books; she is currently an editor of five technical journals.

It should be noted that Dr. Wheeler co-authored the first papers on modeling flow and transport in porous media using DG and/or mixed finite element methods, as well as co-authored two papers (one with Tom Russell and one with Alan Weiser) demonstrating the first proofs on convergence of cell-centered finite differences on non-uniform mesh – standard approach employed in reservoir simulation.

Dr. Wheeler is a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She is a Fellow of the International Association for Computational Mechanics and is a certified Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. She was co-organizer of the SIAM Activity Group in the Geosciences, and alongside Dr. Hans van Duijn, started the Journal on Computational Geosciences.

Dr. Wheeler served has served on numerous committees for the NSF and the DOE. For more than seven years she was the university lead in the DOD User Productivity Enhancement and Technology Transfer Program (PET) in environmental quality modeling. Dr. Wheeler has served on the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and on the Advisory Committee for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In 1998, Dr. Wheeler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2006, she received an honorary doctorate from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In 2008, she received an honorary doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines. In 2009, Dr. Wheeler was honored with the SIAM Geosciences Career Prize, as well as her third IBM Faculty Award. That same year, she was awarded the Theodore von Kármán prize at the SIAM national meeting, recognizing her seminal research in numerical methods for partial differential equations, her leadership in the field of scientific computation and service to the scientific community, and for her pioneering work in the application of computational methods to the engineering sciences, most notably in geosciences. In 2010, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2011, she received a Humboldt award. In February 2013, Dr. Wheeler was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Porous Media, InterPore. The award is given in recognition of her achievements in the area of subsurface flow and contaminant transport, and in recognition of her great contribution in increasing the visibility, credibility and prestige of porous media research. In May 2013, Dr. Wheeler received the John von Neumann Medal award from the Unites States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM). It is the highest award given by USACM to honor individuals who have made outstanding, sustained contributions in the field of computational mechanics over substantial portions of their professional careers. In 2014, she was named an SPE honorary member, the organization’s highest honor.

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Daniel Wise (McGill University)

Dani Wise grew up in NY and received his BA from Yeshiva in 1991 and PhD from Princeton in 1996. After postdocs and visiting positions at Berkeley, Cornell, and Brandeis, he moved to McGill in 2001, where he is currently James McGill Professor. His primary research agenda has been to explore and promulgate the utility and ubiquity of nonpositively curved cubical geometry in group theory and topology. He received the Oswald Veblen prize in 2013, became a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2014, spoke at the ICM in 2014, was Poincare Chair at the IHP in 2015, and received the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize in 2016.

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