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Three professors appointed University Research Chair in the Faculty of Mathematics

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Congratulations to Professors Shai Ben-David, Penny Haxell and Alexander Schied on their appointments as University Research Chairs. All three researchers have illustrious careers and are well-known in their fields.

Ben-David has made outstanding contributions to machine learning theory, logic, the theory of distributed computation and complexity theory. “Among his notable contributions are the pioneering steps he developed to analyze domain adaptation, learnability of real valued functions and change detection in streaming data,” said Mark Giesbrecht, director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. His most recent contributions focused on unsupervised learning, clustering and the mathematical underpinnings of statistical machine learning.

Known internationally for her research in graph theory, specifically extremal graph theory, Haxell is most known for an ingenious proof of a conjecture of Aharoni and the Haxell-Rödl Theorem published in 2001. “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," said Chaitanya Swamy, interim chair of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization.

Schied’s internationally recognized research has focused on risk management, modelling and optimization in finance and economics, robustness and model uncertainty, and issues arising from market microstructure and price impact. “Professor Schied has displayed excellence in the field of probability theory and stochastic analysis with applications to mathematical finance and economics,” said Stefan Steiner, chair, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. In 2002, along with Hans Föllmer, Schied wrote the book Stochastic Finance: An Introduction in Discrete Time. The book was republished in 2011 and 2016.

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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