Assistant Professor Julia Plavnik, the Charlotte Ann Griffin Professor of Mathematics within the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. The Fellowship provides 18 months of support for collaboration with researchers in Germany, support for postdoctoral scholars to visit the US, and a network of internationally recognized experts.
The award is Germany’s most valuable and brings top talent from around the globe to German universities. In Germany, Professor Plavnik’s host will be renowned mathematician Christoph Schweigert at the Universität Hamburg. The Humboldt Fellowship worldwide network now comprises over 30,000 scholars from more than 140 countries and includes 57 Nobel laureates.
“Plavnik’s research is also supported by prestigious grants from the National Science Foundation and the Simons Foundation," said Mathematics chair Professor Kevin Pilgrim (B.S. ’89). "In addition to expanding the frontiers of knowledge at the highest levels, both awards also include support for mentoring of younger researchers. The fact that she earned two such awards in the span of a few months is national recognition of both the caliber of her research and of her success in building communities that foster the growth and development of diverse groups of participants.”
Plavnik’s research is in tensor categories. These are the mathematical objects often used to model symmetries of quantum phenomena, and have potential applications to quantum computing.
Plavnik is a 2022 recipient of Indiana University Bloomington’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor/Advocate Award, and has served as a Kovener Teaching Fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves as the faculty mentor of the Women in Math Club, and is part of the faculty advisory board of the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology at IU.