Media Release – April 3, 2020
Canadian Mathematical Society

Dr. Duncan Dauvergne Named 2020 Recipient of the CMS Doctoral Prize

OTTAWA — The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Duncan Dauvergne (Princeton) is named the 2020 Doctoral Prize recipient. Dr. Dauvergne will present a prize lecture and receive his award at the CMS Winter meeting in Montreal, Québec, December 4-7, 2020.

Duncan Dauvergne is an exceptional mathematician whose recently completed PhD thesis comprises several outstanding results unexpected at this stage of one’s career. Duncan solved, or significantly contributed to solving, three open problems in probability explaining, among other things, a phenomenon that tantalized researchers in probability, combinatorics and statistical physics. This phenomenon is, in essence, that random systems behave in surprisingly non-random ways.

In 2007, examples and empirical results for such a phenomenon that appears in random sorting networks led to a number of conjectures. Among them, there was a strong conjecture that Duncan Dauvergne solved implying the validity of all the others. Further work of Dauvergne, joint with Janosch Ortmann and Bálint Virág, on constructing the scaling limit of last passage percolation and understanding the geometry of the Robinson-Schensted-Knuth (RSK) bijection was deemed central to the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) universality class and will likely lead to more important results in this area of probability. Equally praised by experts is Dauvergne’s joint work with Thomas Bloom on the global asymptotics of the complex zeros of random polynomials.

Duncan Dauvergne completed his PhD at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Bálint Virág in 2019. He is the author and co-author of several articles published in professional journals such as The Annals of Probability, Annales de l’Institute Henri Poincaré, and Transactions of the AMS. Since September 2019, Duncan Dauvergne is an instructor and NSERC postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.

About the CMS Doctoral Prize

The Doctoral Prize recognizes outstanding performance by a doctoral student. The prize is awarded to one or two recipients of a Ph.D. from a Canadian university whose overall performance in graduate school is judged to be the most outstanding. Although the dissertation will be the most important criterion (the impact of the results, the creativity of the work, the quality of exposition, etc.) it will not be the only one. Other publications, activities in support of students and other accomplishments will also be considered. As of 2021, the CMS Doctoral Prize will be renamed the CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize.

For information about past recipients visit: Doctoral Prize

About the Canadian Mathematical Society

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.

For more information, please contact:

Termeh Kousha
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662 ext. 713
or Prof. Kai Behrend (UBC)
Chair, Research Committee
Tel: (604) 822-1719