# Scientific Advisory Panel

The Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) works in conjunction with the Directorate to provide scientific leadership to the Institute and to support the advancement of the Institute's scientific endeavours. The SAP, which is chaired by the Director, includes the Deputy Director and a rotating membership of at least seven distinguished mathematicians from Canada and abroad. The Panel meets twice a year (spring and fall) and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on the selection of thematic and focus programs, workshops and conferences, summer schools, and special lecture series.

## Members 2024-25

Caucher Birkar | Tsinghua University |

Sun-Yung Alice Chang | Princeton University |

Irene Fonseca | Carnegie Mellon University |

Rupert Frank | University of Munich |

Martin Hairer | Imperial College London |

Deirdre Haskell | Fields Institute |

Bryna Kra | Northwestern University |

Gopal Prasad | University of Michigan, Emeritus |

Eric Vanden-Eijnden | Courant Institute, NYU |

Jun-cheng Wei | University of British Columbia |

Maciej Zworski | University of California, Berkeley |

** Caucher Birkar** was awarded the Fields Medal in 2018 “for his proof of the boundedness of Fano varieties and contributions to the minimal model program.”

Birkar is perhaps best known for the development of new techniques and tools for understanding the birational geometry of algebraic varieties and for settling several long-standing problems in the field. In particular, his work has helped prove that all algebraic varieties can be reduced to one of three basic types through birational transformations, bringing order to the associated infinite zoo of polynomial equations. Further he showed that Fano varieties form a neat family that can be defined by a small number of parameters.

His work covers a broad range of topics and classification problems in birational geometry including minimal models, flips, Fano and Calabi-Yau varieties, singularities, generalized pairs, moduli theory and positive characteristic geometry.

Classification is a theme that has also played out in Birkar’s personal life. His name, which he changed to reflect his challenging path to academic success, can be interpreted as “immigrant mathematician” or “explorer mathematician” in Kurdish. His mathematical abilities landed him at the University of Tehran. He did his graduate studies at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Birkar’s lived experiences, and notable contributions, make him an important advocate for the role of education and scientific research in improving people's lives and building a better future.

**Sun-Yung Alice Chang** received her BS degree from National Taiwan University and her Doctorate from UC Berkeley. Since 1998 she has been a professor at Princeton University. She specializes in aspects of mathematical analysis from classical harmonic analysis to a recent interest in geometric analysis and conformal geometry. She was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing in 2002, elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences USA in 2009, of the American Mathematical Society in 2015 and of the Association for Women in Mathematics in 2019. She received the Ruth Lyttle Sattler Prize in Mathematics of the AMS in 1995 and was an MSRI Simons Professor in 2015-16.

**Irene Fonseca **is the Kavčić-Moura University Professor of Mathematics at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is the Director of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA).

Fonseca has supervised 17 Ph.D. students and mentored 42 postdoctoral fellows. She is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences. She was SIAM President in 2013 and 2014. She is a Grand Officer of the Military Order of Saint James of the Sword (Grande Oficial da Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada, Portuguese Decoration). She serves in 20 Editorial Boards, including Advances in Calculus of Variations, ESAIM:COCV (SMAI), Journal of Nonlinear Science, Le Journal de l’Ecole Polytechnique, M3AS, and SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis. She is a member of several advisory and scientific boards of research centers and institutes, she participates in international prize committees, and is in review and evaluation panels of multiple universities in the US and abroad.

Fonseca’s main contributions have been on the variational study of ferroelectric and magnetic materials, composites, thin structures, phase transitions, and on the mathematical analysis of image segmentation, denoising, detexturing, registration and recolorization in computer vision. Her research program continues to explore modern methods in the calculus of variations motivated by problems issuing from materials science and imaging science.

** Rupert Frank** (University of Munich): Rupert works on problems in analysis, calculus of variations and mathematical physics. He received his PhD degree in 2007 from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. After a postdoctoral internship and an assistant professorship at Princeton, in 2013 he became professor at Caltech and in 2016 at LMU Munich, where he holds a chair in analysis and applied mathematics. He was an invited speaker at the 2022 International Congress of Mathematics as well as at the 2021 European Congress of Mathematics.

**Martin Hairer **received undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Physics as well as a PhD in Physics from the University of Geneva. He currently holds a chair in probability and stochastic analysis at Imperial College, London. His work is in the general area of probability theory with a main focus on the analysis of stochastic partial differential equations. Hairer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and his work has been distinguished with a number of prizes and awards, most notably the Fields Medal in 2014, a knighthood in 2016, and the Breakthrough prize in Mathematics in 2020.

**Deirdre Haskell, Interim Director,** was born in Philadelphia, PA, USA in 1963. She moved to England in 1974, where she went to school and university, completing her BA at Oxford University in 1984. She moved back across the Atlantic to pursue a PhD at Stanford University, awarded in 1990, and back once more for a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen Mary College of the University of London. A final transatlantic move took her to the College of the Holy Cross in her first tenure-track position. Another country then beckoned, and she moved to McMaster University in Canada in 2000, where she was promoted to full professor and served several terms as associate chair (undergraduate) of the Mathematics and Statistics department. Dr Haskell’s research in model-theoretic algebra has been supported by grants from the NSF and NSERC. During her career, she has organised many international conferences, including some at the Fields Institute. She has served on committees of the Association for Symbolic Logic, on the editorial board of the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, and is currently a managing editor of Math Logic Quarterly. When not doing mathematics, she enjoys skiing, sailing, and hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.

**Bryna Kra** is the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University. She earned her doctorate from Stanford University and held positions at several leading institutions before joining the faculty at Northwestern University in 2004. Kra was awarded the Conant Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 2010, and in 2019 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences USA. Kra works in ergodic theory and dynamical systems, particularly on problems motivated by combinatorics and number theory.

** Gopal Prasad** (University of Michigan, Emeritus): Gopal works on Lie and algebraic groups, arithmetic groups, geometry of locally symmetric spaces, and the representation theory of reductive p-adic groups. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai). After visiting appointments at Yale and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, he joined the faculty at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, where he stayed for 20 years, eventually serving as Dean of the School of Mathematics. In 1990 he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Kyoto. In 1992 he was recruited to the University of Michigan where he has remained ever since. In 1998 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2006 a Humboldt Senior Research Award. He is a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences and the American Mathematical Society. In 2008, Prasad became the first Raul Bott Professor of Mathematics at Michigan.

**Eric Vanden-Eijnden** is a Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. His research focuses on the mathematical and computational aspects of statistical mechanics, with applications to complex dynamical systems arising in molecular dynamics, materials science, atmosphere-ocean science, fluids dynamics, and neural networks. He is also interested in the mathematical foundations of machine learning (ML) and the applications of ML in scientific computing. He is known for the development and analysis of multiscale numerical methods for systems whose dynamics span a wide range of spatio-temporal scales. He is the winner of the Germund Dahlquist Prize and the J.D. Crawford Prize, and a recipient of the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. He was a plenary speaker at the 2015 International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Beijing and an invited speaker at the 2022 International Congress of Mathematics (ICM).

**Jun-cheng Wei** works in nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications in mathematical biology. He is a Canada Research Chair at UBC and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He received his PhD from Minnesota in 1994 and after some years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he joined UBC in 2012. He is a past speaker at the ICM and has also won the Jeffery-Williams Prize of the CMS. He has published close to 500 papers, some in leading journals including Annals, Inventiones, SIAM Review, CPAM, Duke, GAFA, Crelle and JEMS.

**Maciej Zworski** (UC Berkeley): Zworski works in partial differential equations, scattering theory and microlocal analysis. He received his PhD from MIT in 1989 and has been at Berkeley since 1998. He is Canadian and was briefly at the University of Toronto during 1995-1998. He is the Editor-in-chief of Pure and Applied Analysis and sits on the Editorial Boards of many journals. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, past speaker at the ICM, winner of the Sierpinski Medal, and has many other awards and recognitions. Zworski has an unusually broad knowledge of analysis and related applied fields. He has served on the SAP from 2009-2013.