Kirsten Eisentraeger receives National Science Foundation Career Award

Kirsten Eisentraeger, associate professor of mathematics at Penn State University, has been honored with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the most prestigious award given by the NSF in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research. The CAREER award provides five years of funding and is given to assistant professors by NSF directorates at different times during the year.

Eisentraeger's previous honors include a 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in recognition of her work as a young scientist engaged in cutting-edge research, and an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, which she was awarded in 2005. She was honored in 2003 with the Alexander Prize for outstanding Berkeley dissertation in pure mathematics.

Eisentraeger's research interests include number theory and arithmetic geometry. One direction of her research focuses on questions of decidability and undecidability in number theory. In particular, she has worked on generalizations of Hilbert's Tenth Problem, which concerns the existence of algorithms that determine the solvability of polynomial equations. Hilbert's Tenth Problem is one of 23 now-famous problems that were posed in 1900 by the German mathematician David Hilbert. All 23 problems were unsolved at the time, and the tenth problem remained open until 1970 when it was resolved by Yuri Matiyasevich. Eisentraeger's research interests also include problems related to computational aspects of curves and applications of arithmetic geometry to cryptography.

Eisentraeger has published scientific papers about her research in journals such as Mathematical Research Letters, the Journal of Algebra, and Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. She has delivered presentations and invited talks at academic institutions worldwide, including a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and of the Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL) in 2012 in Boston, a presentation on number theory and computability at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences workshop in 2007 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and a presentation on open problems in number theory and cryptography at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics in 2006 in Los Angeles.

Eisentraeger was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow and a T.H. Hildebrandt Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan prior to joining the Penn State faculty in 2007. From 2003 to 2004, she was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She also has been a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in the Cryptography and Anti-Piracy Group.

Eisentraeger earned doctoral and master's degrees in mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley in 2003 and 1998, respectively. Before that she studied in Tuebingen, Germany.

Last Updated August 17, 2012