Each year, the recipient of the Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize is invited to give a lecture to an audience of faculty and graduate students. The Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize of the AWM is awarded annually to a woman recently promoted to associate professor or an equivalent position in the mathematical sciences. The prize provides a fellowship for the awardee and enables her to focus on her research in the stimulating environment of the Cornell University Mathematics Department during a semester that is free from teaching obligations. Recently promoted associate professors face many challenges as they prepare to take on greater leadership in research and in the profession. The Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize honors outstanding women at this stage of their careers.