For Women in Sciences: extending the award to mathematics and computer science

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO are revealing the ranking of the 21st International Award For Women in Science, which honors outstanding women scientists, from all over the world. These exceptional women are recognized for the excellence of their research in the fields of material science, mathematics and computer science.

They will each receive €100,000 and their achievements will be celebrated alongside those of 15 promising young women scientists from across the world at an awards ceremony on 14 March 2019 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

Extending the award to mathematics and computer science

Mathematics is a prestigious discipline and a source of innovation for many domains, however, it is also one of the scientific fields with the lowest representation of women at the highest level.

The L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCOhave therefore decided to reinforce their efforts to empower women in science by extending the International Award dedicated to material science to two more research areas: mathematics and computer science.

Two mathematicians therefore feature among the five laureates receiving the 2019 For Women in Science Award: Claire Voisin, one of five women to have received a gold medal from the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research), and the first women mathematician to enter the prestigious Collège de France, as well as Ingrid Daubechies, the first woman researcher to be president of the International Mathematical Union.

The five 2019 laureates

Africa and the Arab States
Professor Najat Aoun SALIBA – Analytical and atmospheric chemistry
Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Professor Saliba is rewarded for her pioneering work in identifying carcinogenic agents and other toxic air pollutants in the in Middle East, and in modern nicotine delivery systems, such as cigarettes and hookahs. Her innovative work in analytical and atmospheric chemistry will make it possible to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges and help advance public health policies and practices.

Asia Pacific
Professor Maki KAWAI – Chemistry / Catalysis
Director General, Institute of Molecular Sciences, Tokyo University, Japan, Member of the Science Council of Japan.
Professor Maki Kawai is recognised for her groundbreaking work in manipulating molecules at the atomic level, in order to transform materials and create innovative materials. Her exceptional research has contributed to establishing the foundations of nanotechnologies at the forefront of discoveries of new chemical and physical phenomena that stand to address critical environmental issues such as energy efficiency.

Latin America
Professor Karen HALLBERG – Physics/ Condensed matter physics
Professor at the Balseiro Institute and Research Director at the Bariloche Atomic Centre, CNEA/CONICET, Argentina.
Professor Karen Hallberg is rewarded for developing cutting-edge 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.

North America
Professor Ingrid DAUBECHIES – Mathematics / Mathematical physics
Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, United States.
Professor Daubechies is recognised for 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.

Professor Claire VOISIN – Mathematics / Algebraic geometry
Professor at the Collège de France and former researcher at the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research).
Professor Voisin is rewarded for her outstanding work in algebraic geometry. Her pioneering discoveries have allowed to resolve fundamental questions on topology and Hodge structures of complex algebraic varieties.

The 15 2019 International Rising Talents

Among the almost 280 national and regional fellowship winners we support each year, the For Women in Science programme selects the 15 most promising researchers, all of whom will also be honored on 14 March 2019.

Discover the 15 fellowship winners.

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