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Mathematician Awarded Distinguished Researcher Award

Mathematician Awarded Distinguished Researcher Award
Math professor Rachel Ward holds the W. A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Computational Engineering and Sciences.

This award recognizes core faculty in The University of Texas at Austin's Oden Institute who have demonstrated a sustained record of distinguished research in computational engineering and sciences. Recipients are chosen for their outstanding research record, the significant contributions they have made to the Oden Institute and its CSEM graduate program, and the distinction their work and reputation brings to the Institute and UT Austin.

As a professor of mathematics and the W.A. "Tex" Moncrief Distinguished Professor in Computational Engineering and Sciences for Data Science, Ward conducts research that lies broadly in the mathematics of data. She is recognized for her contributions to stochastic gradient descent, compressive sensing and randomized linear embeddings. Motivated by applications in signal and image processing, dynamical systems and biology, her work often synthesizes tools from optimization, numerical linear algebra, dynamical systems, scientific computing, sparse approximation, random matrix theory and machine learning.

"It has been fantastic to watch Rachel's star continue to rise," said institute director Karen Willcox. "This is obvious from the visibility and notoriety she has earned from her peers in the external community, not to mention all the great things that she's been doing here in the Oden Institute."

The Distinguished Researcher Award provides discretionary funds of $100,000 paid in four annual installments of $25,000 in support of its awardee's research within the Institute.

"The funds from this award will significantly strengthen my research, particularly towards hosting visitors at UT Austin and towards increasing stipends and/or offering more computing resources to graduate students and postdocs," Ward said.

She joined UT Austin in 2011 from NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. She was a visiting research scientist at Facebook AI Research in 2018, was made a Von Neumann Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in 2019 and has been recognized previously with a Sloan research fellowship, NSF CAREER award, the 2016 IMA prize in mathematics and its applications and a 2020 Simons fellowship in mathematics. 

Her research on enhancing state-of-the-art randomized algorithms has also been recognized through this year's W.A. "Tex" Moncrief Grand Challenge Awards 2022.

Cross-posted from the Oden Institute

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Thursday, 07 July 2022

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