Szabó earns prize from mathematical society

Jan. 8, 2007, 11:44 a.m.

Two Princeton seniors also honored

Zoltán Szabó, a professor of mathematics at Princeton, has been awarded the 2007 Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry. The prize, one of the highest distinctions for work in geometry or topology, is presented every three years by the American Mathematical Society.

Szabó and his collaborator, Columbia University's Peter Ozsváth, will share the $5,000 prize with another collaborative team, Peter Kronheimer of Harvard University and Tomasz Mrowka of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to the prize citation, Szabó and Ozsváth, who earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1994, were honored for "the contributions they have made to three- and four-dimensional topology through their Heegaard Floer homology theory." The theory was developed in a highly influential series of more than 20 papers in the last five years.

Szabó first joined the Department of Mathematics as an instructor in 1994 after obtaining his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. He spent a year at the University of Michigan before returning to Princeton in 2000. He is a 1990 graduate of Hungary's Eötvös Loránd University.

The prize was presented Jan. 6 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, where two Princeton seniors also were honored. Ana Caraiani received the Alice T. Schafer Prize for Excellence in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Woman from the Association for Women in Mathematics. According to the award citation, she is "already conducting professional-level mathematical research." Her classmate, Tamara Broderick, was honored as a runner-up for the award.

The American Mathematical Society, with more than 30,000 members, offers programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics.