Mathematician Maria Chudnovsky will present the fall 2021 Science Achievement Graduate Fellows (SAGF) Lecture on Monday, November 1, at 10 a.m. via Zoom. This free public lecture, titled “Parties, doughnuts and coloring. Old and new problems in graph theory,” is sponsored by the Penn State Department of Mathematics and the Eberly College of Science.
Graphs represent information about connections between pairs of objects and are widely used as a modeling tool in engineering, social sciences, and other fields. Leonhard Euler’s 1736 paper on the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg is often regarded as the starting point of graph theory. This lecture will survey a few classical problems in graph theory and explore their relationship to fields of research that are active today. In particular, this talk will discuss Ramsey theory, graph coloring, perfect graphs, as well as some more recent research directions.
About the speaker
Chudnovsky received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and a doctoral degree from Princeton University. She was a Liu Family Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Columbia University, a Clay Mathematics Institute research fellow, and a Veblen Research Instructor at Princeton and the Institute for Advanced Study. Chudnovsky is an editorial board member of the Journal of Graph Theory, the Journal of Computer and System Sciences, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics journal Discrete Mathematics. She was a part of the team 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 the team was awarded the prestigious Fulkerson prize in 2009. In 2010, Chudnovsky was named one of the "brilliant ten" young scientists by Popular Science magazine. In 2012, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and in 2014 she was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Today, Chudnovsky is a mathematics professor at Princeton University.
About the SAGF Lectures
The Science Achievement Graduate Fellows (SAGF) Lectures feature distinguished speakers in science and mathematics and are an outreach of the SAGF scholarship program in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State.
Established in 2018, the SAGF scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding graduate students seeking a doctoral degree in each of the college's seven departments, and who are interested in the advancement of women in the sciences and related fields. The SAGF scholarships recognize women — an underrepresented group in the sciences and mathematics — who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are role models for the students in the college. Each scholarship is named in honor of an outstanding woman scientist or mathematician who not only made groundbreaking discoveries but also blazed the trail for others who have followed in their footsteps. The program fellows host two distinguished lectures a year to honor the women scientists for whom the scholarships are named.
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