Media Release – February 10, 2021
Canadian Mathematical Society

Professors Ailana Fraser and Marco Gualtieri to receive the 2021 CMS Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce that the first annual Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize for an outstanding research publication, or a series of closely related publications, was awarded in the fields of Geometry and Topology to Dr. Ailana Fraser and Dr. Marco Gualtieri.

Ailana Fraser is an outstanding mathematician in the fields of differential geometry and geometric analysis. She has been awarded the Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize for her sequence of works which connect the theory of minimal surfaces with free boundary conditions and extremal problems for the Steklov eigenvalues on the space of Riemannian metrics. The work overlaps several different areas including the geometric calculus of variations, conformal geometry, and partial differential equations. It has opened new and unexpected research directions. Highlights of the work include, but are not limited to, three major publications:

  1. Ailana Fraser and Richard Schoen, The firs Steklov eigenvalue, conformal geometry, and minimal surfaces, Advances  in Mathematics 226 (2011), no. 5, 4011-4030.
  2. Ailana  Fraser and  Richard Schoen,  Sharp  eigenvalue  bounds  and  minimal  surfaces  in  the ball, Inventiones  Mathematicae 203 (2016), no. 3, 823-890.
  3. Ailana Fraser and Richard Schoen, Shape optimization for the Steklov problem in higher dimensions, Advances in  Mathematics 348 (2019), 146-162.

Professor Fraser received her B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1993, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1998. She held postdoctoral positions at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (NYU) and at Brown University, before joining the University of British Columbia in 2002, where she is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics.

Professor Fraser has been invited to give presentations at numerous international venues, including Oberwolfach, MSRI, BIRS, the Clay Mathematics Institute, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has been an active member of the mathematical community, with contributions as organiser and scientific director at CMS conferences and sessions, PIMS and BIRS workshops, and many other conferences. She serves as Editor and Associate Editor of leading journals (e.g. Transactions of the AMS, Memoirs of the AMS, Journal of Geometric Analysis, Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Canadian Mathematical Bulletin).

Professor Fraser is a Fellow of the CMS and of the AMS, and received the 2012 CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize.

Ailana Fraser’s publications referenced above are outstanding, and have had a profound impact in her areas of research.  The CMS is delighted to award her the inaugural Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize.

Marco Gualtieri is an outstanding mathematician the fields of differential geometry and complex geometry. He has been awarded the Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize for his work on the foundations of generalized complex structures. This work opens up new connections between symplectic geometry and complex geometry, by initiating the study of a class of manifolds which interpolates between symplectic manifolds on the one hand,  and complex manifolds on the other. Applications to Mirror Symmetry and String Theory abound. The principal paper the prize is awarded for is

Marco Gualtieri, Generalized complex manifolds, Annals of Mathematics 174 (2011), no. 1, 75–123.

Professor Gualtieri received his B.Sc in Mathematics from McGill University in 1999.  He received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford, where he obtained his D.Phil. in 2004, under the direction of Nigel Hitchin. He held postdoctoral positions at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley and the Fields Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He was C.L.E. Moore Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), before joining the University of Toronto in 2008, where he is Full Professor since 2016.

Professor Gualtieri is a regular participant at international conferences in Geometry, and has been invited to a great many centres of mathematical research, including CRM Montreal, BIRS, CERN, the Perimeter Institute, and the Fields Institute.

In 2010, Professor Gualtieri won the Lichnerowicz Prize in Poisson geometry, and in 2012 the André Aisenstadt Prize for outstanding achievements by a young Canadian mathematician. The CMS awarded the Coxeter-James Prize Lectureship to Dr. Gualtieri in 2014.

Professor Gualtieri’s Annals paper is a masterful combination of depth, clarity and concision. It shone a light on fruitful pathways and so illuminated many later journeys by him and others. The CMS is delighted that its author is a recipient of the inaugural Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize.

About the Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize

The Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize is for an author(s) of an outstanding research publication. A series of closely related publications can be considered if they are clearly connected and focused on the same topic. The recipient(s) shall be a member of or have close ties to the Canadian mathematical community.

For more information please see Cathleen Synge Morawetz Prize page.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

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:

Prof. Javad Mashreghi (Laval)
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Prof. Victor LeBlanc (Ottawa)
Chair, CMS Research Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society