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Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

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Chudnovsky, Gmachl named to 'Brilliant 10' list

Popular Science magazine has named two Princeton faculty members -- mathematician Maria Chudnovsky and electrical engineer Claire Gmachl -- to its "Brilliant 10" list of young scientists.

The annual list consists of "10 scientists to watch -- people who are gaining recognition from their peers yet remain virtually unknown to the public." Chudnovsky and Gmachl will be featured in the October issue.

Popular Science cited Chudnovsky, a Veblen Research Instructor in Mathematics, for her work in graph theory and combinatorics. Chudnovsky received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2003 with Professor Paul Seymour as her adviser. The two solved a major, longstanding problem known as the strong perfect graph conjecture, which concerns fundamental properties of any network, such as a phone system, connected by any number of nodes.

"Young mathematicians are called promising if they are expected to become at least half as good in 10 years as Maria is now," Vasek Chvatal, a computer science professor at Concordia University, told the magazine.

Gmachl, an associate professor of electrical engineering, came to Princeton in 2003 from Bell Labs, where she pioneered the development of a practical version of a device known as a quantum cascade laser. "Once perfected, her tiny, ingenious devices ... could be used to detect biological and chemical weapons or to sniff airports for explosives," the article noted.

In 2002, Popular Science named Princeton mathematician Manjul Bhargava to its "Brilliant 10" list.

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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