# Two Cornell Mathematics Alumni named 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship Winners.

Thomas Church ’06 earned his Ph.d from the University of Chicago in 2010 under the direction of Professor Benson Farb ’89. He is a currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. He also has won an NSF Career Award in 2014 and the Kamil Duszenko Prize in 2015. His research is in topology which includes the study of curves and surfaces and their analogs in higher dimensions. Thomas focuses on low-dimensional topology. At Cornell, Church was an advisee of Professor Robert Strichartz and a co-winner of the Kieval Prize, awarded each year to the outstanding math majors. His senior thesis, titled “The Magnus Representations of the Torelli group I_{g,1}”, was supervised by VIGRE Assistant Professor Tara Brendle.

Matthew Hirn ’04 earned his Ph.d from the University of Maryland in 2009 under the direction of Professors John Benedetto and Kasso Okoudjou. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Michigan State University. His research is in theoretical, applied, and computational harmonic analysis and in "big data". More specifically Matthew develops provable machine learning algorithms for the analysis of high dimensional data that circumvents prohibitively costly computations, thereby opening new avenues for scientific breakthroughs. In the summer of 2013 Matthew returned to Cornell to supervise a Research Experience for Undergraduateson high dimensional data analysis. His senior thesis at Cornell, titled “The refinability of step functions” was supervised by Prof. Robert S. Strichartz.

In 2016 the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded 126 fellowships to early-career scholars for their promising scientific work. Since 1955, Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win 43 Nobel Prizes, 16 Fields Medals, 68 National Medals of Science, 15 John Bates Clark Medals, and numerous other distinguished awards.