Bianca Viray, a professor at the University of Washington (UMD 2005), has been awarded the AMS Joan and Joseph Birman Fellowship for Women Scholars for the 2022–2023 academic year. The fellowship gives exceptionally talented women extra research support during their mid-career years. The primary selection criterion is the excellence of the candidate's research.

An arithmetic geometer, Viray researches rational points on varieties, particularly how a variety’s geometric properties influence failures of the local-to-global principle. “My research projects are broadly motivated by wanting to understand arithmetic properties of a variety as we extend the base field, and what the sets of points look like over extensions,” she said.

Recently, Viray has studied degree d points, considering solubility over unions of extensions of bounded or prescribed degree. During her fellowship year, she will take part in a program on Diophantine geometry at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. Viray will also host collaborators including Brendan Creutz of the University of Canterbury (New Zealand).

“I am honored to be awarded this prestigious fellowship in recognition of my research and thankful for my many wonderful mentors, collaborators, and colleagues who have supported me through my career,” she said.

Viray earned her PhD in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley. She was at Brown University from 2010 until 2014 as a Tamarkin Assistant Professor and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow. She joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 2014. In the 2021–2022 academic year, she is a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An active organizer in the mathematics community, Viray is a co-founder of the paraDIGMS (Diversity in Graduate Mathematical Sciences) initiative and a member of the board of directors of Girls’ Angle. She is also a member at large of the AMS Council and a Fellow of the AMS. Read a Simons Foundation profile of Viray, who was named a 2020 Simons Fellow in Mathematics.

About the Fellowship

The AMS Joan and Joseph Birman Fellowship for Women Scholars, established in 2017 with a gift from Joan and Joseph Birman, seeks to address the paucity of women at the highest levels of research in mathematics by giving exceptionally talented women extra research support during their mid-career years. The primary selection criterion for the Birman Fellowship is the excellence of the candidate's research. See past recipients and read about their experiences with the fellowship (PDF).

Contact: AMS Communications.


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Congratulations to the team under the leadership of Roohollah Ebrahimian. Our Putnam Team was ranked 20th out of 427 institutions this year. This is our fifth year in a row that we rank among top 20 teams in the Putnam competition. Our team members were Steppan Konoplev, Thomas Luo, and Gerrett Peters. Steppan Konoplev and Thomas Luo were recognized as one of top 193 students in the 2021 Putnam competition. You can read more about our activities on the website at

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Antonio De Rosa will be receiving the Career Award from the NSF for his project “Existence, regularity, uniqueness and stability in anisotropic geometric variational problems.”

Congratulations to seniors Steven Jin (math major) and Naveen Raman (math and computer science double major), who were awarded prestigious 2022 Churchill Scholarships! They will spend next year at the University of Cambridge pursuing master’s degrees.  There are only 16 students nationally in all STEM areas that are chosen for this award and this is the first time ever that math majors from Maryland receive the Churchill Scholarship.  It is a great achievement.
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Congratulations Steven and Naveen!

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that Dr. Katherine Calvin will serve the agency in dual roles as chief scientist and senior climate advisor effective Monday.

Calvin succeeds Jim Green, who retired from his role Jan. 1 as chief scientist after more than 40 years of service at NASA, and Gavin Schmidt, who has served as senior climate advisor in an acting capacity since the position was created in February 2021. NASA established the senior climate advisor position to ensure effective fulfillment of the Biden-Harris Administration's climate science objectives for the agency. Schmidt will maintain his role as director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

"I'm thrilled to welcome Kate to the NASA family, where she will bring her expertise in integrated human-Earth system modeling to help ensure the Biden Administration has the data needed to achieve the critical goal of protecting our planet," Nelson said. "I also want to thank Jim and Gavin for their invaluable leadership to NASA and the world as chief scientist and senior climate advisor."

As chief scientist and senior climate advisor, Calvin will serve as principal advisor to the administrator and other agency leaders on NASA science programs, strategic planning, and policy. She will also represent the agency's strategic science objectives and contributions to the national and international science communities.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our nation – and our planet," Calvin said. "NASA is a world leader in climate and Earth science. I'm excited to be a part of the team that is helping to advance this important science mission."

Previously, Calvin was an Earth scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Maryland. She worked on the institute's Global Change Analysis Model, a system for exploring and analyzing the relationships between human and Earth systems, and the Department of Energy's Energy Exascale Earth System Model, a system for analyzing the Earth system.

Calvin holds master's and doctoral degrees in management, science, and engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Maryland.