President's Frontier Award Lecture

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The President's Frontier Award was established with a $2.5 million donation from trustee Louis J. Forster. Forster helped design the award to support exceptional scholars among the Johns Hopkins faculty who are on the cusp of transforming their fields. The award recognizes one person each year with $250,000 in funding for their work. This PFA lecture features 2020 recipient Dr. Emily Riehl presenting on Category Theory. Thinking categorically can help serve as a guide post as you trek the grand scheme of (mathematical) things. As written in Quanta Magazine in a 2020 interview with Riehl,  “category theory and its next-generation version, higher category theory, are central to many fields of math, from algebraic geometry to mathematical physics. In those areas, Riehl said, ‘I think it would be impossible to describe the kind of basic objects of study without categorical language.’” 

Join us for this fantastic event honoring the brilliant work of Dr. Riehl, opened by Provost Sunil Kumar and Dr. John Toscano. There will be an opportunity for Q&A after the talk. Denis Wirtz, Vice Provost for Research, will provide closing remarks.

Find out more information about Dr. Riehl and her work here.

This livestream has been tagged by Common Question, click here for more information.

ABOUT Emily Riehl, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics

Emily Riehl, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at working on a variety of topics in category theory related to homotopy theory. Riehl received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Chicago and spent four years as an NSF and Benjamin Peirce Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University before joining JHU in 2015. She was promoted to associate professor in 2019. She has been recognized through prestigious awards, residencies, and invited lectures; mentored several graduate students and postdocs; and won awards for her undergraduate teaching. Riehl has published more than two dozen journal articles and three books, including an introductory book on category theory and a book that prepares graduate students for research.

ABOUT John Toscano
Interim Dean for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Vice Dean for Natural Sciences, and a Professor of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences

John Toscano, PhD is the interim dean for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, starting July 1. He is also the vice dean for natural sciences, and a professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Toscano was previously vice dean of natural sciences. He served as liaison with the chairs of the school’s natural science departments to ensure the highest quality undergraduate experience, as well as to think through space planning and research infrastructure needs and opportunities for interdisciplinary endeavors. He was an important partner to the science chairs and the dean in the recruitment of faculty and issues concerning tenure and promotion, and he represented the school and cultivated ties with other science-intensive divisions of the university, as well as with external institutions for scientific research. Moreover, Dr. Toscano worked with the university’s technology transfer office and maintained responsibility for research reporting and compliance issues.

ABOUT Denis Wirtz
Vice Provost for Research; Theophilus Halley Smoot Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Denis Wirtz, PhD Vice Provost for Research and Theophilus Halley Smoot Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is known for his studies of the molecular and biophysical mechanisms of cell motility and adhesion and nuclear dynamics in health and disease, with a special focus on aging, cancer, and progeria. Wirtz directs the Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and co-directs the Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center, both National Cancer Institute-funded entities. He is a co-founder and former associate director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology. Wirtz earned a bachelor’s degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium (1988) and master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford University (1993). He did postdoctoral research at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI) in Paris, France.

ABOUT Sunil Kumar
Provost, Johns Hopkins University

Provost Sunil Kumar, PhD took office as the 15th provost of The Johns Hopkins University on September 1, 2016. In this role, Dr. Kumar is the chief academic officer and second-ranking member of the senior administration, responsible for promoting and coordinating the university’s teaching and research mission. He oversees the university’s nine schools as well as several interdisciplinary programs and academic centers.

 Event Date
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Start Time: 12:00pm EDT
End Time: 1:00pm EDT


Via Livestream
Baltimore, MD 21218

Hopkins at Home

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