Kirsten Eisentraeger, professor of mathematics at Penn State, has been appointed the Francis R. and Helen M. Pentz Professor of Science by the Eberly College of Science. The Pentz professorship was established in 1989 to provide outstanding faculty members with the resources necessary to further their teaching, research, and public service.
Eisentraeger's research interests include number theory and arithmetic geometry. One aspect of her research focuses on generalizations of Hilbert's Tenth Problem, which concerns the existence of algorithms that determine whether polynomial equations are solvable. Hilbert's Tenth Problem is one of 23 now-famous problems posed in 1900 by the German mathematician David Hilbert and remained unsolved until 1970. Eisentraeger's research interests also include problems related to computational aspects of curves and applications of arithmetic geometry to cryptography. Her recent work has focused on quantum algorithms for number theoretic problems and implications for Post Quantum Cryptography.
Eisentraeger's previous honors include an Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2011 and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2008. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. Eisentraeger has published scientific papers about her research in journals such as Mathematical Research Letters, the Journal of Number Theory, and the Journal of the European Mathematical Society and presented at conferences such as Eurocrypt, STOC, and the Algorithmic Number Theory Symposium (ANTS). She is currently an editor for the Journal of Algebra.
Prior to joining the Penn State faculty in 2007, she was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow, a T.H. Hildebrandt Assistant Professor, and a VIRGE Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan from 2004 to 2007, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, from 2003 to 2004. She also has been a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in the Cryptography and Anti-Piracy Group.
Eisentraeger earned doctoral and master's degrees in mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley in 2003 and 1998, respectively. Before that she studied at Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in Germany.