Alumni News

Anish Ghosh

Anish Ghosh

Anish Ghosh PhD '06 receives the Shanti Swarup Bhatnager Prize, India's Highest Science Award

January 25, 2022

Anish Ghosh PhD '06 has received the 2021 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Mathematical Sciences, India's highest science award. In an interview with GSAS, Ghosh describes his work as a "branch of mathematics called ergodic theory which can be loosely described as the mathematically rigorous study of chaotic systems...Somewhat surprisingly, it turns out that ergodic theory is closely connected to an ancient branch of mathematics called number theory. My work explores the connections between these two subjects." Ghosh describes his experience at Brandeis as "wonderful" and says that his "PhD supervisor Dmitry Kleinbock was my mentor and provided all the support and guidance that I needed," while citing other influential faculty mentors in the department as well. Ghosh is currently a faculty member at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai where he specializes in Ergodic Theory and Number Theory. 
Doug Ravenel

Douglas Ravenel

Photo Credit: Archives of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach

December 7, 2021

Douglas Ravenel, Brandeis Math PhD '72, was named a co-winner of the 2022 AMS Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry for a paper that he co-authored with Michael Hill and Michael Hopkins,"On the nonexistence of elements of Kervaire invariant one." In an interview with AMS, Ravenel states "Solving the Kervaire invariant problem was the biggest surprise of my mathematical life....The discovery that Hill, Hopkins, and I made 40 years later felt like hiking in the Alps only to find a shortcut up Mount Everest."

The Oswald Veblen Prize is awarded every 3 years to honor the authors of a notable research work in geometry or topology.

Ravenel's PhD advisor at Brandeis was Mathematics Professor Emeritus Edgar Brown. Ravenel is a currently a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Rochester.

Graduate Alumni Panel

December 7, 2021

Our Math PhD alumni working in a variety of positions in industry joined us for an informative alumni panel.
Mario Bourgoin (Partner Solution Architect - AI/ML, Amazon Web Services) works as the Global Partner Tech Lead in MLOps at Amazon Web Services (AWS).  After graduating from Brandeis University in 2004, he taught at local universities until 2011 when he joined Cogito Health, a Boston area startup, as a data scientist.  After that, he joined EMC, again as a data scientist, and then he worked in the AI Customer Advisory Team at Microsoft.  Before pursuing his studies at Brandeis, he founded a team providing machine learning for business at Thinking Machines, and then at the Dun & Bradstreet corporation.  Over this time, he has led teams in the successful delivery of 12 software products and 2 hardware products.  He holds a doctorate in Mathematics from Brandeis University, a master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from M.I.T., and a bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Ottawa.

Abhishek Gupta (Data Scientist, Tracelink) finished PhD in June, 2021 under the supervision of John Wilmes. He has since been working as a member of the data science team at Tracelink trying to build data products for the pharmaceutical supply chain. 

Yurong Zhang (Quantitative Manager, Fifth Third Bank) obtained her Ph.D. under the supervision of Joël Bellaïche in 2014. After graduation, she pursued a non-academic career: credit risk management. She started as a quantitative model developer at PNC Bank and got her new job at Fifth Third Bank this summer. Her main job responsibilities are to develop and maintain credit risk models for risk rating and loss forecasting. 

Netta Engelhardt

Netta Engelhardt

August 30, 2021

Netta Engelhardt was the focus of an article, This Physicist Discovered an Escape From Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox, in Quanta Magazine in connection with her work on black holes. She and her colleagues have resolved a famous paradox posed by Stephen Hawking about the loss of information at the boundary of a black hole. Netta majored in Mathematics and Physics at Brandeis, and is now the Biedenharn Career Development Assistant Professor of Physics at MIT.
Ulrike Tillmann

Ulrike Tillmann

March 10, 2021

Ulrike Tillmann was interviewed for an article, Channeling Creativity in Mathematics: Ulrike Tillmann ’85, as part of a feature on Brandeis Alumnae in STEM in the Brandeis Alumni News. Ulrike majored in mathematics at Brandeis, and is now professor of mathematics at Oxford University and a fellow of the Royal Society.
Keith Merrill photo

Keith Merrrill

May 2019

Keith Merrill, PhD '13, was awarded the 2019 Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  Keith is currently an Assistant Professor in the Brandeis Mathematics Department.

May 2019

John Bergdall, PhD '13, is the subject of an article on the website of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He describes his experiences as a graduate student in the Brandeis Mathematics department and subsequent postdoctoral positions.

Alumni Career Panel

April 2019

The Department was thrilled to host Ph.D. alumni, including Andrew Gainer-Dewar (’12), Software Engineer III at Google; Mario Bourgoin (’04), Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft; Chunsheng Chen (’99), Senior Software Engineer at Google; and Alex Charis (’12), Senior Software Engineer at HubSpot. Graduate students engaged with alumni to learn about career paths for mathematicians in software engineering and data science. Through their experiences, alumni showed students how to translate their skills into industry jobs. One alumnus summed it up, “a math Ph.D. teaches you how to wrestle a problem patiently to the ground. You are fearless when it comes to solving problems.”

Karen Uhlenbeck wins Abel Prize in Mathematics

March 2019

We are thrilled to announce that Karen Uhlenbeck has won the 2019 Abel Prize in Mathematics.  Uhlenbeck received her PhD from Brandeis in 1968 and was awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis in 2008. The Abel prize, which is given out by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, is one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics and is considered equivalent to a Nobel prize. It has never before been awarded to a woman. The prize recognizes Uhlenbeck “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.”  Hans Munthe-Kaas, Chair of the Abel Committee, notes that “Her theories have revolutionized our understanding of minimal surfaces, such as those formed by soap bubbles, and more general minimization problems in higher dimensions.”  She has also been a strong advocate for women in mathematics. For further information, see and

Brandon Shapiro (BA ’17) has been awarded National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Fall 2017

Brandon Shapiro (BA ’17) has been awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship starting in 2017, to support his PhD studies in Mathematics at Cornell University.

Nick Wadleigh and Matthew Cordes receive Zuckerman STEM Leadership Postdoctoral awards

May 2017

Nick Wadleigh (PhD’17 with Professor Dmitry Kleinbock) and Matthew Cordes (PhD’16 with Professor Ruth Charney) have each been awarded Zuckerman STEM Leadership Postdoctoral Scholarships. Each will be a postdoc at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

János Kollár named co-recipient of the 2017 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences

May 2017

János Kollár (PhD’84 in Mathematics with Professor Teruhisa Matsusaka) is a co-recipient (with Claire Voisin) of the 2017 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences. Awarded by the Hong Kong-based Shaw Foundation, the Shaw Prize honors recent breakthroughs by researchers in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and life science and medicine. 

May, 2017

Leslie Lamport (MA’63, PhD’72 with Professor Richard Palais) was given an honorary degree at the 2017 Brandeis Commencement, and gave an address at the School of Science diploma ceremony. Lamport was the recipient of the 2013 A.M. Turing Award, given by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Jingyue Chen awarded a New World Mathematics Award Silver Prize

August 2016

Jingyue Chen (PhD’15) was awarded a New World Mathematics Award Silver Prize at the 2016 International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians. The prize was awarded for her PhD Thesis, Existence and Rigidity of Calabi-Yau Bundles, supervised by Professor Bong Lian.