Pallavi Dani wins Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Cornell University are pleased to announce that Pallavi Dani, Louisiana State University will receive the 2016 -17 Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize.

The Michler Prize grants a mid-career woman in academia a residential fellowship in the Cornell University mathematics department without teaching obligations. This pioneering venture was established through a very generous donation from the Michler family and the efforts of many people at AWM and Cornell.

Pallavi Dani was selected to receive the Michler Prize because of her wide range of mathematical talents and the close connection of her work with the research of several mathematics faculty at Cornell. She earned a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Mumbai, Mumbai India in 1999 and an MS in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, in 2001. Dani received her PhD in mathematics, under the direction of Benson Farb, from the University of Chicago in 2005.

Before coming to Louisiana State University in 2008, where she is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Dani spent time as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma. In 2008 - 09 she was a Visiting Research Associate at Emory University. She will be spending the spring 2017 semester at Cornell University.

Dani’s research is in the area of geometric group theory. In particular, she studies quasi-isometry invariants of groups, such as Dehn functions and divergence, with a special interest in hyperbolic groups and CAT(0) groups. More recently she has been working on the quasi-isometry and commensurability classification of right-angled Coxeter groups. Her work is partially funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

About her upcoming semester at Cornell Dani says: "I am honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in the vibrant research atmosphere at Cornell University. While there I will work with Tim Riley on questions related to subgroup distortion in hyperbolic groups, and filling invariants in subgroups of non-positively curved groups. I hope to learn more about the theory of special cube complexes from Jason Manning. I also expect to have fruitful interactions with Martin Kassabov and Justin Moore. I feel confident that this experience will help me forge new directions in my research.”

The History of the Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize

Ruth Michler's parents Gerhard and Waltraud Michler of Essen, Germany established the memorial prize with the Association for Women in Mathematics because Ruth was deeply committed to its mission of supporting women mathematicians. Cornell University was chosen as the host institution because of its distinctive research atmosphere and because Ithaca was Ruth’s birthplace. At the time of her death, Ruth was in Boston as an NSF visiting scholar at Northeastern University. A recently promoted associate professor of mathematics at the University of North Texas, she was killed on November 1, 2000 at the age of 33 in a tragic accident, cutting short the career of an excellent mathematician.