Mathematician wins Fudan-Zhongzhi prize

Ingrid Daubechies, professor of mathematics at Duke University, was presented with the 3 million yuan (US$435,000) Fudan-Zhongzhi science award on Sunday.

Ingrid Daubechies, a mathematics professor at Duke University, was presented the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award on Sunday in Shanghai.

Ingrid Daubechies, professor of mathematics at Duke University, was presented with the 3 million yuan (US$435,000) Fudan-Zhongzhi science award on Sunday.

The award recognized her leadership in wavelet theory and time-frequency analysis which fundamentally changed image and signal processing.

“Daubechies is known for her work on the mathematical foundations of image processing, in particular construction of the Daubechies and Cohen-Daubechies-Feauveau wavelets,” Samuel Ting, a Nobel laureate in physics and chairman of the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award Committee, told the ceremony.

Wavelets are important for image compression and digital photography. JPEG 2000 image uses a Cohen-Daubechies-Feauveau wavelet.

Born and educated in Belgium, Daubechies moved to the United States in 1987, first to work for Bell Laboratories and then at Princeton University as full professor from 1993-2011. She was the first woman to be elected president of the international mathematical union (2011-2014).

The Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award recognizes scientists who make fundamental achievements in the fields of mathematics, physics and biomedicine.

In 2016, the award was presented to James P Allison from the US and Tasuku Honjo from Japan, who later shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Last year, the award went to three American physicists — Rainer Weiss, Kip Stephen Thorne and Barry Clark Barish.

Daubechies is the first winner to enjoy the 3 million yuan monetary prize alone.

Ingrid Daubechies (the third from left), a mathematics professor at Duke University, was presented the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award on Sunday in Shanghai.

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