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Voight Named Selfridge Prize Awardee

In 2010, former IMA postdoc John Voight, University of Vermont, received the Selfridge Prize.

Voight's first visit to the institute was in the fall of 2006 by way of Australia, shortly after completing his postdoc in the Magma Computer Algebra Group at the University of Sydney.

Voight said he was drawn to the IMA by the breadth and depth of the institute's proposed activities, the strong reputations of both the IMA and the University of Minnesota, and the appeal of delving into algorithm and mathematical software development research.

As a postdoctoral fellow during the IMA’s Thematic Year on Applications of Algebraic Geometry, Voight said the highlight of his visit was the interactions he had with the other postdocs, staff, faculty, and visitors during the year.

"I feel very privileged to have participated in the IMA year as it significantly broadened my mathematical perspective," Voight explained.

He said that in addition to being surrounded by pure mathematicians whose areas of research were adjacent to his own, he was able to connect with individuals working in quite different fields—from biology to chemistry to optimization and signal processing, not to mention colleagues working in industry.

"I was particularly struck by methods in numerical algebraic geometry, which can often find approximate solutions to lengthy systems of equations when traditional methods in computational algebra fail. This numerical approach has remained in the back of my mind as I have pursued my research since leaving the IMA, and in the past couple of years, has come to the front and proved to be directly useful," he said.

Throughout his fellowship, he was able to develop new connections with all of the other visitors who wanted to better understand applications of algebraic geometry. Since receiving the Selfridge Prize, Voight has also received the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Milt Silveira Award, an NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences CAREER Award in the amount of $400,000, and an NSA Young Investigator's Grant.

[Image courtesy of www.math.u-bordeaux1.fr/~pdelmora/index.html.]