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Mathematical Association of America Announces 2021 Recipients of the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize

Washington, D.C. - The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is pleased to announce the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team, Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney, as the 2021 recipients of the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize.

Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize

The Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize recognizes outstanding mathematical research by undergraduate students. This award is made jointly by the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

The recipients are recognized for their outstanding research in mathematics and their groundbreaking results across a broad range of topics in combinatorics, discrete geometry, and probability. Sah and Sawhney settled longstanding conjectures and improved results by established mathematicians. They have solved several significant open problems and developed new techniques while working on exciting and central areas in the field. Combined, they have authored 30 papers (11 of these together), and are published in top journals.

“This is the first year in Morgan Prize history we have awarded coauthors,” said Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA. “This is a testament to Sah and Sawhney’s ingenuity, originality, and technical ability.”

Award Winners Response

It is a tremendous honor to receive the 2021 Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize. We extend our deepest gratitude towards Mrs. Morgan and the AMS, MAA, and SIAM for promoting and supporting undergraduate mathematical research. We would also like to sincerely thank two of our research mentors, Professor Yufei Zhao from the MIT math department and Professor Joseph Gallian from the Duluth REU, who have each been instrumental in our mathematical endeavors. Professor Yufei Zhao has been an exceptionally kind and generous mentor for both of us for the past three years and it has truly been a pleasure to interact with him closely over this time period. In particular, he has spent a great deal of time teaching us how to become better mathematicians and how to communicate our results. Professor Gallian introduced us to an amazing community of peers and mentors, informally known as “Duluthians”, and the summers we each spent at the Duluth REU were incredibly enjoyable due in large part to his passion and expert guidance. We would further like to thank a number of joint collaborators including David Stoner, Vishesh Jain, and Ross Berkowitz.