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University of Iowa News Release


June 8, 2011

UI mathematician wins National Science Foundation CAREER award

An award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help a University of Iowa researcher to further her topology research and develop a program to identify and nurture mathematically gifted high school students through a two-week summer program.

Maggy Tomova, assistant professor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Department of Mathematics has been selected by the NSF to receive a three-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, effective June 1. When combined with past and future NSF research funding, the current $235,000 award is expected to bring her total NSF funding to about $500,000.

The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF honor for junior faculty and recognizes research and teaching excellence, as well as scholars who are likely to become future academic leaders. The awards, presented to engineers and scientists across the country, are designed to help universities attract and retain outstanding young faculty members.

Tomova received her CAREER Award for the project titled "New Approaches to Classical Knot Invariants."

Tomova's project involves knot theory, a branch of mathematics that studies the properties of knotted strings in which the ends are joined and cannot be undone. Knot theory has a number of applications to DNA knotting and protein folding. In addition, she will work with about 20 underachieving high school students from Iowa City schools each summer to help motivate them to reach their potential.

Her current primary research interests involve low dimensional topology and knot theory.

Prior to joining the UI faculty in 2005, she earned her doctorate from the University of California at Santa Barbara, also in 2005.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,