Ionut Chifan Wins Aldroubi-Azhari Postdoctoral Prize
Ionut Chifan has been awarded the 2012 Samir Aldroubi and Amira Azhari Prize for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research. Chifan completed a three-year postdoc position with the department in May 2012.
Chifan received his Ph.D. in 2009 from UCLA. His research is in von Neumann algebras, and he has broad interests in ergodic theory and measured and geometric group theory. His work is focused on rigidity phenomena for II_1 factors.
He has had papers accepted in journals including Geometric and Functional Analysis, Duke Mathematical Journal, and Advances in Mathematics, and in 2010 he received a three-year National Science Foundation research grant. He has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Iowa beginning in the fall of 2012.
“Ionut is hard-working and extremely devoted to his work,” said his mentor, Assistant Professor Jesse Peterson. “He has a true passion for mathematics.”
Department Chair Dietmar Bisch adds, “Ionut is very deserving of this award. He has obtained significant results and published in top journals while here at Vanderbilt. He continues to collaborate with several people in the department. “
The Aldroubi-Azhari Prize for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research is awarded every two years to recognize the research achievements of current and recent postdoctoral fellows in the department. It was established in 2010 by Professor Akram Aldroubi in honor of his parents, Samir Aldroubi and Amira Azhari.
Samir Aldroubi was a Professor of Philosophy and Psychology and Dean at the University of Damascus. He later moved to Abu Dhabi and became the General Director of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, United Arab Emirates. He died in 2007.
Amira Azhari is a retired Professor of Psychology. She currently lives in Damascus, Syria. She taught at the Department of Psychology and Education at the University of Damascus, Syria, and later worked at the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi, where she was the Director of Curriculum Development for Preschools.