Math Prof. Sam Nelson Receives Important Grant from Simons Foundation


Associate Professor of Mathematics Sam Nelson has received a prestigious Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians from the Simons Foundation.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.04.47 AM copyThe competitive grant will support Nelson’s research, which includes algebraic topology and knot theory—a field that examines the three-dimensional geometry of knot shapes, which may one day help genetic scientists better understand the structures of molecules.

The grant includes $7,000 per year for five years.

According the foundation website: “The goal of the grant program is to support the ‘mathematical marketplace’ by substantially increasing collaborative contacts in the community of mathematicians working in the United States. The foundation will make a large number of grants to accomplished, active researchers who do not otherwise have access to substantial research funding that supports travel and visitors.”

Key criteria considered for selections is recent work, publication in high-quality journals, student collaboration and success and participation in colloquia, research seminars and research conferences

According to CMC Associate Professor of Mathematics and Department Chair Lenny Fukshansky, Nelson’s recent award brings the math department’s total number of faculty recipients of the grant up to three, which he believes is the highest among all math departments in the Claremont Colleges. Fukshansky won two in 2011 and 2013. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Deanna Needell won in 2013.

The Simons Foundation is a private foundation based in New York City, incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons. The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. We sponsor a range of programs that aim to promote a deeper understanding of our world.