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Prize Honours Women in Science

Two Laureates Affiliated with ICTP

ICTP Scientific Council member Ingrid Daubechies and Senior Associate Karen Hallberg
ICTP Scientific Council member Ingrid Daubechies and Senior Associate Karen Hallberg


L’Oréal-UNESCO recently held their 21st annual International Awards for Women in Science on February 11th 2019 . Established in 1998, the awards serve to support young scientists as well as recognize established experts within disciplines ranging from biochemistry to high energy physics.

This year’s ceremony, which happened to fall on the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, recognized five established scholars and fifteen budding researchers from around the globe. Among the 2019 laureates were Ingrid Daubechies who serves on ICTP’s Scientific Council, and Professor Karen Hallberg, a Senior Associate at ICTP.

The 2019 award marks the first time the honour has been extended to the field of mathematics, where female laureates of prestigious international prizes are scarce. Indeed, the 141 laureates of the top three mathematical prizes (Fields, Wolf and Abel) include only one woman.

Ingrid Daubechies is a professor of mathematics and electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, USA. The L'Oréal-UNESCO award recognizes her "exceptional contribution to the numerical treatment of images and signal processing, providing standard and flexible algorithms for data compression. Her innovative research on wavelet theory has led to the development of treatment and image filtration methods used in technologies from medical imaging equipment to wireless communication".

Daubechies was the first woman to lead the International Mathematical Union, as well as the first woman to achieve the ranking of full professor at Princeton University. She has been a member of ICTP's Scientific Council since 2016.

Karen Hallberg is a professor of condensed matter physics at the Balseiro Institute and Research Director at the Bariloche Atomic Centre in Argentina. She is a current ICTP Associate and the 2019 recipient for L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize in Latin America. Hallberg was awarded for her computational approaches “that allow scientists to understand the physics of quantum matter. Her innovative and creative techniques represent a major contribution to understanding nanoscopic systems and new materials.” 

ICTP congratulates Daubechies and Hallberg for their outstanding work in the fields of mathematics and condensed matter physics. The UNESCO headquarters in Paris will celebrate the laureates and their accomplishments on March 14. 

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