Friday, April 06, 2018

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: LGBT Mathematician Moon Duchin Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Moon Duchin is an out lesbian mathematics professor at Tufts University who has just become the sole pure mathematician in the 2018 class of Guggenheim Fellows. Here's the official announcement:
Moon Duchin is a mathematician at Tufts University, where she is also a Senior Fellow in the Tisch College of Civic Life and serves as the founding director of the interdisciplinary program in Science, Technology, and Society. She majored in Mathematics and Women's Studies at Harvard and received her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. 
Duchin's research in pure math lies in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. An area of particular interest is nilpotent geometry, or the shape of groups that fail to be commutative in a controlled way. She has studied random walks, random groups, and rigidity theorems for surfaces and billiards. She is also interested in the social studies of science, particularly the role of expertise, authority, intuition, and proof. 
Duchin is currently engaged in a long-term project on the geometry of gerrymandering, an application of mathematics to civil rights. She has worked to build a national network of collaborators doing wide-ranging work on mathematical and computational interventions in electoral redistricting. They aim to engage the legal, political, and philosophical dimensions of the gerrymandering problem, working closely with civil rights organizations. Duchin recently served as a consultant for the governor of Pennsylvania in the court-mandated push to redraw the congressional map.
I know Moon relatively well, having spent a 3 days attending the latest Geometry of Redistricting Workshop at the University of San Francisco last month. I'm not surprised she has been recognized by the Guggenheim Foundation, I think that she should also be considered for an even more prestigious award, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, in the near future.

Congrats, Moon!

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