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Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney win the Morgan Prize

October 29, 2020

Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney

Congratulations to Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney for winning the 2021 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student! This is the most prestigious prize in the US for undergraduate mathematics research (though I must say that their work far surpasses that of “undergraduate research”). It is also the first time in the history of the Morgan Prize for it to be jointly awarded to more than one recipient.

From the prize citation:

The award recognizes the duo’s innovative results across a broad range of topics in combinatorics, discrete geometry, and probability.

The prize committee notes, “Working alongside one another, Sah and Sawhney settled longstanding conjectures and improved results by established mathematicians. The research of Sah and Sawhney is both deep and broad, tackling questions at the very forefront of current research, yet extending across the entire gamut of modern combinatorics, with significant contributions to extremal graph theory, graph limits, additive combinatorics, Ramsey theory, algebraic combinatorics, combinatorial geometry, random graphs and random matrix theory. They have demonstrated a significant amount of ingenuity, originality and technical ability, resulting in a research record, which is extremely rare for undergraduate students.”

Combined, Sah and Sawhney have authored 30 papers (11 together), and published in top journals, including Inventiones Mathematicae, Advances in Mathematics, Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, the Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series B, and Combinatorica.

(The paper count in the award citation was taken from earlier this year and is now already quite a bit out of date.)

I got to know both Ashwin and Mehtaab as students in my Putnam Seminar and graduate combinatorics class during their very first undergraduate semester at MIT. Since then, they have led an intensively productive and ongoing collaboration, producing an incredible amount of fantastic research results across a wide spectrum of topics in combinatorics, probability, number theory, and algorithms. It was a great pleasure for me to be working with Ashwin and Mehtaab on many of these projects. Some of their work were previously featured on this blog:

Ashwin and Mehtaab are now both first-year PhD students at MIT. I’m sure that we will see a lot more coming from them.

« Jain–Sah–Sawhney: Singularity of discrete random matrices