Sophie Spirkl receives Sloan Foundation Fellowship

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Sophie Spirkl
Sophie Spirkl, an assistant professor of Combinatorics and Optimization, has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Spirkl is one of 125 early career researchers in the United States and Canada who received a Fellowship this year.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is an American philanthropic nonprofit organization established in 1934 to support research and education related to science, technology, and economics. Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, only 16 faculty from the University of Waterloo have received one (including this year’s winners).

“I’m very honoured to receive the Sloan Fellowship,” Spirkl says.

Spirkl’s research focuses on graphs with forbidden induced subgraphs – “which roughly means that certain small patterns don’t appear,” she explains. “What does this local information tell us about the graph as a whole? I am interested in answering this question, both by finding large-scale structure and by developing more efficient algorithms for these graphs.”

The Sloan Fellowship will allow Spirkl to expand her research team and increase their opportunities for traveling to conferences and workshops.

“Professor Spirkl is the most apt choice for being bestowed this prestigious fellowship, and I am most delighted with this outcome!” says Chaitanya Swamy, the chair of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization and Spirkl’s nominator. “She is widely regarded as one of the strongest graph theorists of her age in the world, and the breadth and depth of her research is quite impressive.”

To learn more about Spirkl’s research, visit her research website. To learn more about the Sloan Foundation and this year’s recipients of Research Fellowships, read their press release here.