NSF CAREER awards

Two Boston College mathematicians, assistant professors Ian Biringer and Dubi Kelmer, have earned coveted CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation. The five-year awards support early-career faculty who, according to NSF, “have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization."  

Assistant professor of mathematics Dubi Kelmer
Assistant professor of mathematics Dubi Kelmer

While Biringer and Kelmer said they were honored at being chosen for the awards, they added that the significance goes beyond professional and academic prestige.

For Kelmer, a researcher of homogenous dynamics and its application to number theory, the CAREER Award will give him the opportunity to build on his work by traveling to conferences and collaborating with colleagues at BC and elsewhere. He also will be able to organize workshops and seminars to encourage graduate students and post-docs in their research.

“Awards like this are important for early-career faculty because they allow them to focus on long-term projects,” said Kelmer, who holds a doctorate from Tel Aviv University and began teaching at BC in 2011. “Since the award is given for a five-year period, it is possible to spend time to cultivate a long-term research profile by working on hard problems that might not yield significant results over a short time period.” 

Assistant professor of mathematics Ian Biringer
Assistant professor of mathematics Ian Biringer.

Biringer, who earned his PhD at University of Chicago and joined the BC faculty in 2012, said his award will support his projects in hyperbolic geometry (“Basically, I study geometric shapes by randomly sampling them in different areas”) and also fund summer workshops and research groups for early-career mathematicians such as graduate students and post-docs.

“The workshops will give the participants an introduction to a current and exciting field of mathematics,” he said. “I’m enthusiastic about these summer programs, and I think they will be useful in developing the careers of the young participants involved.”

Expressing delight at his colleagues’ success, department chairman Professor Robert Meyerhoff noted that Kelmer and Biringer’s CAREER Awards bring to six the number won by BC Mathematics faculty members in just the past six years; previous recipients were J. Elisenda Grigsby, Dawei Chen, John Baldwin and Joshua Greene.

“This remarkable number of awards indicates the high regard that the NSF has for the research and teaching accomplishments of our faculty,” he said.

–Sean Smith / University Communications