The Mathematics Department is proud to announce that Svitlana Mayboroda (Ph.D. 2005) has been awarded the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Professor Mayboroda has achieved enormous success in both pure mathematics and its application to important and difficult problems in Physics and Engineering. She held postdoctoral positions at Brown and Ohio State, followed by an assistant professorship at Purdue, before moving to her current position at the University of Minnesota, where she holds the McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship. She also been a von Neumann fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Sloan Fellow, an NSF Career Award winner, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. She was an invited speaker at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians, a quadrennial event at which a speaking invitation is considered to be comparable in prestige to winning a medal in the Olympic Games.

It is in the area of Mathematical Physics in which she has received perhaps her greatest recognition, for groundbreaking work in which she has introduced and developed the mathematical theory of the quantum mechanical phenomenon known as “Anderson Localization”. The physical principle of localization was discovered by the physicist Philip Anderson, for which he won the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics, but in the subsequent decades, a mathematical understanding of the phenomenon had remained elusive, until Svitlana entered the picture. Her breakthrough paper on this subject, published jointly with the physicist Marcel Filoche in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found recognition beyond the Math and Physics communities. In particular, this work has important technological applications in the design and production of more efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting. Efficient LED lighting constitutes an enormous world market, and its improved efficiency makes a major contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases and global warming.