back to news Oct. 26, 2011

Roman Holowinsky Wins Top International Prize for Young Mathematicians in his Field

Earlier this year, Roman Holowinsky received one of the best national recognitions a young scientist can hope for, an Alfred Sloan Fellowship. These two-year, $50,000 research fellowships are given annually to the country’s most promising young scientists, whose significant achievements to-date indicate their potential to continue to make substantial contributions to their fields.

Now, the world is taking notice of Roman Holowinsky. On December 22, he will receive the 2011 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, at the International Conference on Number Theory, Ergodic Theory and Dynamics at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, India. This is the top international prize for young mathematicians in his field.

He was the unanimous choice of the international nominating committee, who cited, “…his spectacular work in analytic number theory and the theory of modular forms—contributions that have significant implications in a broad range of areas in mathematics and even in physics.

“At the young age of 32, Dr. Holowinsky is a major figure in the fields of analytic number theory and the theory of modular forms.”

The annual prize was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding contributions by very young mathematicians to areas influenced by the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.

For Holowinsky, news of this most recent award was “out of the blue. I was stunned; I had no idea that I had been nominated,” Holowinsky said. “I feel humbled by it, particularly when I see the list of past winners and think of what it means to join this group.

“I’ve never been to India, so I am not only incredibly grateful to have been selected, but for the chance to go there to accept it. I am really looking forward to the whole experience.”

Holowinsky is also appreciative of the opportunities the Sloan Fellowship has afforded him. “I am able to have the time to do some things I could not otherwise do. I’ve been taking an active role in helping to organize conferences put on by the Mathematical Research Institute—the MRI is an institute in the math department that supports collaborative work in math research worldwide and creates opportunities for faculty and students in our department to interact with colleagues from other leading universities.

“More importantly, the Sloan grant has a very real, positive impact on my research. It provides the means not only for me to travel, but allows me to invite people to come here. This lets me have direct, active connections with my collaborators. You can only do so much through the Internet. It makes a huge difference in my work.”