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Gitta Kutyniok Wins the 2007 von Kaven Award

The DFG Honours Gitta Kutyniok for Her Research into Novel Function Systems

Gitta Kutyniok

Gitta Kutyniok

Gitta Kutyniok, a mathematician from Giessen, has been selected to receive this year's von Kaven Prize in Mathematics for her outstanding work in the field of applied harmonic analysis. This prize is awarded by the von Kaven Foundation, which is administered by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The mathematician, who was born in 1972 and is currently funded in the DFG's Heisenberg Programme, will be presented with the prize at the Gauß Lecture, held by the German Mathematical Society (Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, DMV) in Marburg on 16 November 2007. This year is the third time that the von Kaven Prize has been awarded. The von Kaven Prize in Mathematics is endowed with 10,000 euros and is financed by the von Kaven Foundation, which was established in December 2004 by the mathematician Herbert von Kaven. Like Herbert von Kaven himself, Gitta Kutyniok comes from Detmold.

This year's winner of the von Kaven Prize is working on wavelets, curvelets and, something she herself developed, shearlets, which are systems of functions that can be useful in signal analysis. Her research has very tangible applications. For instance, the shearlets Kutyniok developed assist in the analysis of vast amounts of data. In particular, they can be used to detect the geometric properties of data volumes, for instance the direction of edges in images. This makes these functions useful for purposes such as analysing data generated by tomographs and other medical devices, and for data compression of image formats such as JPG. Working together with Canadian researchers, Kutyniok hopes to use shearlets to identify stable and efficient algorithms for the analysis of seismic signals generated by studies of the Earth's crust. She is also investigating the fundamental properties of function systems as well as the mathematical modelling of sensor networks using the theory of fusion frames, which she also proposed.

Gitta Kutyniok is funded by the DFG's Heisenberg Programme. At present she is living in the USA, where she is collaborating with Professor Dave Donoho in Stanford and Professor Ingrid Daubechies in Princeton. Her ambition, however, is to be appointed as a professor in Germany. In addition to her research honoured by this prize, she also has a great passion for academic teaching, having originally wanted to become a teacher.

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