In an interview with Yale News, Oh described how it feels to work on and solve a mathematics problem. "It is as though I feel my way through the darkness, find a switch to light up the room, and come to appreciate how perfectly organized and beautiful that room really is. I look around and understand the role of each piece of the problem I stumbled over in my wanderings searching for that switch. Although in the beginning it looks like there is no structure, each mathematical problem has indeed a beautiful structure, not unlike what we appreciate in a great art work."
The Satter Prize citation highlights in particular Oh's recent work, carried out different parts jointly with A. Kontorovich, with N. Shah, with M. Lee and with A. Mohammadi, that connects the classical problem of circle packings with cutting-edge modern questions. "This work brings together in a beautiful way dynamics on homogeneous spaces, the geometry and topology of 3-dimensional manifolds, and various subtle number-theoretic phenomena, for example the distribution of primes," the citation says.
Born in South Korea in 1969, Oh earned her PhD from Yale University in 1997. She held positions at some of the top centers of mathematics, including Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the California Institute of Technology, where she became a full professor in 2006. After seven years as a professor at Brown University, she became the first tenured woman mathematics professor at Yale.
Presented every two years by the American Mathematical Society, the Satter Prize recognizes an outstanding contribution to mathematics research by a woman in the previous six years. The prize will be awarded at the Joint Prize Session at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 4:25 PM, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Contacts: Mike Breen and Annette Emerson
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