Math in the News
Mathematician Selected as 2012 MacArthur Fellow
Maria Chudnovsky was named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow for her work on classifications and properties of graphs.
In an early breakthrough, Chudnovsky and colleagues proved a conjecture offered in the early 1960s, known as the “Strong Perfect Graph Theorem,” that identifies specific criteria required for a graph to fall into the “perfect” class. Any perfect graph can be colored efficiently (i.e., no node is connected to another node of the same color), and graph coloring bears a direct relation to finding efficient solutions to problems such as allocating non-interfering radio frequencies in communication networks. Since this landmark accomplishment, Chudnovsky has continued to generate a series of important results in graph theory.
Recipients of MacArthur Fellowships are awarded $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. In an interview for MacArthur, Chudnovsky said, “With the MacArthur Fellowship, I will be able to work exactly on the problems I want to work on, which is extremely important if you are trying to do something creative.”
Daniel Spielman, professor of applied mathematics and computer science at Yale University, was named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow for his work in theoretical computer science on abstract questions that affect society (related article).