Congratulations to the department’s newest University Research Chair

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Penny HaxellThe University has appointed Professor Penny Haxell as a University Research Chair.

Haxell’s research focuses on extremal combinatorics and graph theory. Her early work in 1995 with Kohayakawa and Luczak has led to continued development in the study of Szemeredi’s lemma in sparse setting. She is also known for an ingenious proof of a conjecture of Aharoni and the Haxell-Rödl Theorem published in 2001.

"Prof. Penny Haxell is an excellent choice for being bestowed the honor of University Research Chair. She is well known internationally for her research in graph theory, and specifically, extremal graph theory,” said Chaitanya Swamy, interim chair of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization. “Her work has led to a variety of extremely novel results via an inventive combination of combinatorial, probabilistic, and topological tools that showcase her skill, originality and technical abilities. Highlights of her research accomplishments include a substantial hypergraphic generalization of the classical Hall's marriage theorem for bipartite graphs, which has found numerous applications, notably, even outside of graph theory, her work on fractional graph packing problems, and results on the strong coloring of graphs."

Haxell completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo and was awarded the University of Waterloo Alumni Association Gold Medal for the highest academic achievement in the Faculty of Mathematics. She has also been awarded the:

  • Faculty of Mathematics Distinction in Teaching award in 2014
  • 2012 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in recognition of past accomplishments in research
  • University of Waterloo’s Outstanding Performance Fund Award in 2011
  • Canadian Mathematical Society 2006 Krieger-Nelson Prize for outstanding research achievements
  • Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award from 2001-2006
  • NSERC Women’s Award from 1993-1998

Each year the University grants faculty members to a seven-year term as University Research Chair to recognize exceptional achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge. The appointee can decide between a teaching reduction of one course per year or an annual stipend.

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