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Pierce awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Lucette Moramarco

Associate Editor

Former Fallbrook resident Lillian Pierce has added a Guggenheim Fellowship to her long list of accomplishments. Born, raised and homeschooled here in Fallbrook, Pierce earned her B.A. at Princeton University, 2002 valedictorian; followed by an M.Sc. at Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar, 2004; and a Ph.D. at Princeton, 2009.

Her parents still live here while their daughter lives on the other side of the country – she's an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Duke University where she has worked since 2014.

In 2018, she was awarded the Association for Women in Mathematics Sadosky Prize. She received the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She was elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in the Class of 2021. Her citation read "For contributions to number theory and harmonic analysis."

According to an article in the Duke University school newspaper, "Pierce's research spans both number theory and harmonic analysis, two conventionally separate fields. She plans to use the fellowship grant to make progress on a long-term writing project providing an introduction to the intersection between the two fields.

'Over roughly the past 10 years, a number of striking discoveries by various research teams have shown that the apparent boundary between the fields is deceptive,' Pierce wrote in an email to The Chronicle. 'I think it's an exciting time because we still don't know quite how the story will develop: there's a lot of new research happening right now, in the area surrounding this boundary.'

Pierce was previously a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER grant and a von Neumann Fellowship with the Institute for Advanced Study."

Her husband, Tobias Overath, also works at Duke, as a neuroscientist, and they have three children who they homeschooled during the Covid lockdown.

The Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of Guggenheim Fellowships, April 5, to a diverse group of 171 scientists, writers, scholars, and artists honored across 48 fields. Chosen from a rigorous application and peer review process out of almost 2,500 applicants, they were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

The purpose of the foundation and its fellowships is to "further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions."


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