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U mathematician wins prestigious Sloan Fellowship

University of Utah mathematician Jonathan Chaika has won a prestigious 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship.

Feb. 23, 2015 – Jonathan Chaika, an assistant professor of mathematics, today was named as one of 126 young U.S. and Canadian scientists to receive a prestigious 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship.

The much sought-after fellowships and $50,000 awards are meant to “honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders,” the nonprofit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation said in New York.

Chaika works on various problems in a mathematical field known as ergodic theory, which studies the way points travel through space over time. He focuses on spaces that have connections to geometry and topology, the study of shapes with properties that remain the same when the shapes are deformed.

“For more than 50 years the Sloan Foundation has been proud to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary young scientists who are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Sloan fellowships are awarded in eight fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists. Fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

Past Sloan research fellows include such intellectual luminaries as physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Since the program began in 1955, 43 fellows have received a Nobel Prize, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics and 65 have received the National Medal of Science.

The foundation was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and CEO of the General Motors Corp. More information on Sloan Research Fellowships is at