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Mathematics Professor named American Mathematics Society Fellow

Northeastern University Professor of Mathematics Ivan Losev uses algebra to solve the mechanics of quantum physics and field theory, the results of which can lend answers towards how atoms move and interact with each other. His complex studies in this field have led to being named one of the 2018 fellows of the American Mathematics Society (AMS) 

Losev received his PhD from Moscow State University in 2007, and completed his post-doctoral research at MIT before joining the Department of Mathematics at Northeastern in 2011. Now, seven years later, Losev has become a full professor and teaches many undergraduate and graduate courses, while also completing research in his field of representation theory.  

“I’m very pleased that my colleagues recognize my achievements,” he said. “Around 60 mathematicians worldwide are awarded this fellowship every year and to get it is an honor.” 

The AMS is an organization that aims to further the pursuits of mathematical research, scholarship, and education as a national and international group. Throughout the year, they host meetings and events, sponsor young mathematicians through grants and present distinguished mathematicians with awards. The fellows of the AMS were started in 2012, to honor mathematicians from around the world with a more widely awarded distinction.  

Losev’s research mainly focuses on studying the symmetries that arise within quantum physics. Many objects in our physical world have symmetries. The properties of these symmetries can be used to help understand mechanics, the study of motion, through the use of differential equations. But with quantum physics, rather than studying an object in motion with symmetries, the motion of electrons and protons in the infinite dimensional spaces are studied. By using algebraic techniques, mathematicians can use the symmetry to understand how particles move. 

Losev also teaches many classes at Northeastern. This semester he is teaching a new class for graduate students, Modern Algebraic Geometry, which he created. He also leads a graduate seminar focused on the recent developments in the representation theory field. Both of these courses are a part of the activities of the $2 million RTG grant recently received by the Department of Mathematics.  

“It’s an honor to be awarded this competitive fellowship at a relatively early stage of my career. There are many spectacular mathematicians in this year class of AMS fellows and it’s great to be among them,” said Losev.    

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