Jen Hom Named 2023 American Mathematical Society Fellow

School of Mathematics associate professor Jen Hom is recognized by the American Mathematical Society for her topology research and service to the mathematical community

November 21, 2022 | Atlanta, GA

Jen Hom, an associate professor in the School of Mathematics, has been named to the 2023 Class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society for her “contributions to low-dimensional topology, Heegaard Floer homology, and service to the mathematical community.”

The Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. “It is an honor to welcome a new class of AMS Fellows and to congratulate them for their notable contributions to mathematics research and service to the profession,” said AMS President Ruth Charney. 

Hom joined Georgia Tech in 2015 and is a previous recipient of the College of Sciences Cullen-Peck Fellowship Award. “It’s a great honor to be named an AMS Fellow, and to join this esteemed list of mathematicians that includes many of my mentors,” Hom said.

Hom’s research focuses on “knots, surfaces, and their higher dimensional analogs,” referring to certain mathematical structures embedded in three-dimensional space. Rather than the kinds of knots used in ropes and shoelaces, the ends of strings in mathematical knots are joined together. Surfaces, meanwhile, refer to the outsides of malleable geometric shapes. 

Knots and surfaces are found in topology, the study of surfaces and shapes that can be bent, twisted and otherwise deformed but never broken or torn. Heegaard Floer homology helps mathematicians make sense of these shapes, Hom said. “Heegaard Floer homology is a powerful tool for studying these objects that helps translate questions about shapes into questions about algebra.”

Before coming to Georgia Tech, Hom was Ritt Assistant Professor at Columbia University, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. She received her B.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia, and her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.