Cynthia Vinzant, an assistant professor of mathematics at North Carolina State University, has been awarded a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship in Mathematics. Vinzant’s work focuses on using tools from algebra to study problems in combinatorics and optimization. She looks at the connections between algebraic objects and the geometry of shapes they define and uses this geometry to better design algorithms for sampling and optimization.
Open to scholars in eight scientific and technical fields – chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics – the two-year Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Fellows receive $75,000 for research-related expenses from the foundation.
Vinzant is the sixth NC State faculty member to receive the prestigious award, which has been given annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Chemist T. Brent Gunnoe was named a Sloan Research Fellow in 2004, mathematician Jonathan Hauenstein received the award in 2014, biomedical engineer Zhen Gu received it in 2016, mathematician Tye Lidman received it in 2018 and materials scientist Veronica Augustyn received the award in 2019.
Past Sloan Research Fellows include physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and game theorist John Nash. Fifty fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science and 19 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007.
Vinzant received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Berkeley in 2011 and joined the faculty of NC State in 2015.
This post was originally published in NC State News.