Zhiren Wang, associate professor of mathematics at Penn State, has been award the eleventh Brin Prize in Dynamical Systems. The prize was established in 2008 by Professor Michael Brin of the University of Maryland, whose son Sergey Brin is a co-founder of Google, to recognize mathematicians who have made substantial impact in the field at an early stage of their careers. Wang is being recognized “for his fundamental contributions to the study of topological and measure rigidity of higher rank actions, and his proof of Moebius disjointness for several classes of dynamical systems.”
Wang is the second Penn State mathematician to be awarded the prize out of 11 total prizes. The first being Federico Rodriguez Hertz, Anatole Katok Chair Professor of Mathematics, who won the prize in 2015.
Wang studies a branch of mathematics known as dynamical systems, which aims to describe the trajectory of a point in a geometric shape, given a set of rules that characterize the movement of the point. In the problems that he focuses on, the geometric shape and the rules often arise from an algebraic setting and are connected to number theory and other mathematical subjects.
Wang was awarded a von Neumann Fellowship by the Institute for Advanced Study in 2022. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, Series A and the Journal of Modern Dynamics.
Before joining the faculty at Penn State as an assistant professor in 2014, Wang was Gibbs Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Yale University from 2011 to 2014 and a postdoctoral fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 2011. He was promoted to associate professor at Penn State in 2019. Wang earned a bachelor's degree at Fudan University in 2004, masters' degrees from Ecole Polytechnique and University Paris-Sud in 2006, and a doctoral degree at Princeton University in 2011.