March 12, 2012

Two JHU mathematicians honored with Simons Fellowships

Two Johns Hopkins University mathematicians have each been awarded the highly competitive Simons Fellowship in Mathematics, which provides scholars with the opportunity to spend a semester away from classroom and administrative duties in order to pursue their research interests.

Christopher Sogge and Joel Spruck, both professors in the Department of Mathematics in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, are among just 50 mathematicians in North America to have received this honorific fellowship.

“I’m thrilled that I’ll have free time and resources,” said Sogge, who will use this occasion to strengthen academic partnerships with his peers in the People’s Republic of China. “I welcome the opportunity to further develop these ties and to collaborate with them. I’ll also use the fellowship to help me finish writing a book on eigenfunctions of the Laplacian. This field of geometric analysis and harmonic analysis has been a main focus of mine throughout my career.”

Spruck will travel to Montreal and Barcelona, Spain, where he too will collaborate with his field’s leading experts.

“We will work on problems of common interest involving the interplay of elliptic partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry,” Spruck said. “My last sabbatical of this nature was in 1999 and was a delightful and invigorating experience. I look forward to the opportunities that the Simons Fellowship will bring.”

Simons Fellows are chosen based on research accomplishment in the five years prior to application and the potential scientific impact of the fellowship. The mission of the private, New York City–based Simons Foundation is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. It funds a variety of grants, fellowships and projects.

During the professors’ sabbaticals, half of their salaries will be paid by Johns Hopkins and half by the Simons Foundation. The foundation also pays up to an additional $10,000 for expenses related to the fellowship.

William Minicozzi, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins, said, “These fellowships are very prestigious on their own, and it is doubly remarkable for one department to have two of them in the same year.”

Sogge and Spruck both have previously been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Sogge in 2005 and Spruck in 1999.