UIC mathematician receives AMS Centennial Fellowship

Mimi Dai, UIC associate professor of mathematics
Mimi Dai, UIC associate professor of mathematics. Credit: Alexey Cheskidov

Mimi Dai, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois Chicago, has been awarded the American Mathematical Society Centennial Fellowship for the 2022–2023 academic year. The primary selection criterion is the excellence of the candidate’s research.

Dai researches nonlinear partial differential equations, fluid dynamics, harmonic analysis and complex fluids. Recently she has focused on the appearance of singularities in turbulent flows. During her fellowship year, she will visit collaborators in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland to continue tackling challenging problems on the pathological behavior of solutions to certain fluid equations.

“I am extremely honored to be awarded the prestigious AMS Centennial Fellowship,” Dai said. “As my name ‘Mimi’ in Chinese means ‘seeking secrets,’ it seems a destiny for me to grow into a mathematician. Simply, the abstractness and limitlessness of mathematics is the type of art that has drawn intense passion out of me.”

Dai was a plenary speaker at a satellite event of the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians for women in differential equations. She has twice served as an organizer of the Graduate Research Opportunities for Women Conference.

“Like every one of us wandering in the world of mathematics, facing challenges and often failures is the most common thing. However, I have been so lucky to be inspired and uplifted by my advisers, collaborators, and colleagues along the way to my current stage,” Dai said. “I am sincerely grateful for the recognition I have received for my research.”

Dai earned her PhD in 2012 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, advised by Maria Schonbek and Jie Qing. Dai then completed a postdoc at the University of Colorado Boulder. She came to UIC in 2013 as a research assistant professor, becoming an assistant professor in 2016 and an associate professor in 2020. In the 2021–2022 academic year, she is also a von Neumann Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

In 1973, the AMS established a Research Fellowship Fund, renamed in 1988 to honor the AMS Centennial. Applicants for the fellowship must have held a doctoral degree for between three and 12 years and must currently serve in a tenured, tenure-track, post-doctoral, or comparable (at the discretion of the selection committee) position at a North American institution.

Based on an announcement issued by the American Mathematical Society.

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