PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Two Brown University professors have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.
Maurice Herlihy, professor of computer science, and Jill Pipher, the Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor of Mathematics, are among 197 new members of the Academy, which includes leading thinkers in science, public affairs and business, arts and humanities.
Among other accomplishments, Herlihy helped to develop transactional memory, a technique that helps computers with multiple processors coordinate shared data revisions in real time. Both Intel and IBM have incorporated the technique into hardware architecture in recent years. Herlihy’s many publications during his nearly 30-year academic career have been cited nearly 20,000 times. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineers, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the 2013 winner of the IEEE Computer Society’s prestigious W. Wallace McDowell Award.
“I am very gratified that the value of research in distributed computing, once considered of mostly theoretical interest, has been recognized in this way,” Herlihy said.
Jill Pipher is the founding director of Brown’s Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM), one of eight National Science Foundation mathematics institutes in the nation. Her primary research interests are in areas of mathematics that have broad applications in the physical and life sciences, including harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. Her joint work in the field of cryptography, with Brown faculty members Jeffrey Hoffstein and Joseph Silverman, led to the development of a patented public key encryption system and a start-up company called Ntru Cryptosystems, which was acquired by a major security software company in 2009. For 2011-13, she was president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. In 2012, she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. She is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a Presidential Young Investigator Award.
“As is typical in mathematics, I have benefited tremendously from collaboration and conversations with many mathematicians, including my colleagues here at Brown,” Pipher said. “One of the main reasons I wanted to found ICERM was to create more support for the critically important collaboration of mathematical scientists, especially early career researchers. Membership in the Academy means more to me than the recognition of achievement. It offers me further opportunities to have an impact on the profession and on the public appreciation of mathematics, for which I am grateful.”
Also among this year’s fellows are Mark Schlissel, former provost at Brown now president of the University of Michigan, and Gregory Schopen, a former member of the Brown religious studies faculty now at UCLA.
“We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution.”
The new members will be officially inducted at a ceremony to be held in Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 10, 2015.