Kamil Duszenko Award for outstanding achievements in Mathematics


The winner of Kamil Duszenko Award in 2023 is Lei Chen.

Lei  Chen  is  Assistant  Professor  of mathematics at the University of Maryland.  She obtained her BSc in mathematics  from  Peking  University and  PhD  from  the  University of Chicago under the direction of Benson  Farb.  She has done pioneering work on the structure  of  mapping  class groups, braid groups, configuration spaces, and the homeomorphism groups of manifolds with special focus on the  interactions  between  such  objects.  For example, Chen has a series of major results (joint and solo) on the generalized  Nielsen realization problem, asking whether  mapping class groups and braid groups can be realized by homeomorphisms, and an‐ other on the classification of morphisms between braid groups and related section problems.

Her hobby is singing, snowboard and tennis.


The winner of Kamil Duszenko Award in 2023 is Nick Salter.

Nick Salter received his PhD in 2017 at the University of Chicago, under the supervision of Benson Farb. He was an NSF postdoc at Harvard and Columbia, and Ritt Assistant professor at Columbia. He is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Nick is working at the interface of geometric group theory and complex algebraic geometry. Among his achievements are answering a question of Donaldson on which simple closed curves can be vanishing cycles for nodal degenerations of smooth curves in the complete linear system for an ample line bundle on a toric surface, and confirming a conjecture of Griffiths-Schmid that the monodromy group of an algebraic family of complex varieties is arithmetic for Atiyah-Kodaira manifolds. He also solved a series of well-known open problems on the topology of the spaces of abelian differentials and versal deformation spaces. A unifying theme in his research is that of monodromy groups.

Nick likes to cook a lot. He is especially big fan of the cookbooks of Yotam Ottolenghi and J. Kenji Lopez Alt, and once took an Indian cooking class from Ranjana Bhargava, who is Manjul’s aunt. His wife and he also brew beer.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2022 is Mikołaj Frączyk.

Mikołaj Frączyk received his PhD from Université Paris–Sud in 2017 under the supervision of Emmanuel Breuillard, and is currently a Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago. Previously he held a postdoctoral position at the Renyi Institute in Budapest and a membership at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. In 2023 he will start leading a prestigious Discouri Centre in Kraków, Poland.

Mikołaj has written 17 papers to date, concerning in particular the geometry and topology of locally symmetric spaces and expander graphs, in relation to number theory and probability.

In his impressive PhD thesis on Benjamini–Schramm convergence of locally symmetric spaces, Mikołaj established a deep result regarding the geometry of such spaces using a variety of geometric and number theoretical methods. For this he received the 2018 Thesis Prize of Laboratoire de Mathématiques Blaise Pascal in France. In breakthrough work with Gelander, he proved a famous conjecture of Margulis on the non-existence of uniformly slim subgroups of infinite covolume in higher rank symmetric spaces. In recent work with Hurtado and Raimbault, he solved an important conjecture of Gelander on the homotopy type of arithmetic locally symmetric spaces.

As a hobby he paints.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2021 is Jingyin Huang.

Jingyin Huang received his PhD in 2015 from the Courant Institute at New York University under the supervision of Bruce Kleiner. He has held postdoctoral positions at McGill University and at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University.

Jingyin has made impressive contributions to quasi-isometric rigidity of various kinds of groups with some form of nonpositive curvature. He has extensively studied right-angled Artin groups via CAT(0) cube complexes, large-type Artin groups via systolicity, and finite type and FC-type Artin groups via the Helly property. More recently he has been interested in measure equivalence, further expanding the scope of his research. His achievements and promise in geometric group theory were recognized with a 2022 Sloan Research Fellowship.

As a hobby he composes classical Chinese music.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2020 is Camille Horbez

Camille Horbez received his PhD from Université Rennes in 2014 under the guidance of Vincent Guirardel. He is currently a member of CNRS at Orsay and he held visiting professor positions at the University of Utah, MSRI, and the Fields Institute.

Camille wrote a spectacular thesis where he introduced random walk methods to prove the Tits Alternative and the Handel-Mosher Alternative for outer automorphism groups Out(Fn) of free groups, and generalisations.

He wrote 20 papers to date and made further significant contributions to the study of boundaries of hyperbolic spaces on which Out(Fn) acts, and its applications such as rigidity results and boundary amenability.

He is co-organised a research semester at Institut Henri Poincaré in 2022.

His main hobby is to play the baroque flute.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2019 is Kathryn Mann from Brown University.

Kathryn Mann received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2014 under the supervision of Benson Farb, and is currently a Manning Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Brown University. Previously, she held a Morrey Visiting Assistant Professorship at UC Berkeley, a postdoctoral position at MSRI, and a visiting position at the Institut de mathématiques de Jussieu. 

Among her accolades is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2019), an NSF Career Award (2019), and the Mary Ellen Rudin young researcher award (2017). 

Mann has developed a broad research program which concentrates on homeomorphism and diffeomorphism groups of manifolds, especially in low dimensions. Among her major achievements is a characterization of geometric representations of closed surface groups into homeomorphisms of the circle. Geometric representations come from embeddings as lattices in Lie groups.  Mann proved that geometric representations of closed surface groups are globally rigid, meaning that their dynamics do not change under any deformation.  
In joint work with Maxime Wolff, she established the converse to this theorem, showing that rigid representations of closed surface groups are geometric.

Kathryn Mann is a renowned educator, deeply engaged in involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in topology, and she is involved in a large number of outreach activities. She has given many talks, including several directed at a general audience. 

Among her hobbies she is an avid cyclist.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2018 is Alessandro Sisto from ETH Zürich.

Alessandro is especially interested in, and contributed significantly to the study of generalisations of hyperbolic groups: relatively hyperbolic, a-cylindrically hyperbolic and hierarchically hyperbolic groups. For each of these classes he proved deep and interesting results, addressing wide range of questions and using wide range of techniques: random walks, bounded cohomology, embedding obstructions.

Between 2005 and 2010, Alessandro studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he first encountered geometric group theory. He went on to pursue it in Oxford, where he obtained his PhD in 2013 under the supervision of Cornelia Drutu. He then moved to ETH Zürich, first as a postdoc and then as an assistant professor.
He co-organised the 2018 edition of Young Geometric Group Theory, which was held in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.
He has written 40 papers, with a total of 30 collaborators, on various topics in geometric group theory, as well as other fields. 

When not doing mathematics, he climbs.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Prize in 2017 is Thomas Koberda from University of Virginia.

Thomas has been recognised for his work on low dimensional topology and dynamics, in particular for paper exploring connections between right angled Artin groups and mapping class groups.

He is PhD from Harvard, 2012.
His official advisor was Curt McMullen, unofficial one was Benson Farb.

During 2012-15 he was at Yale, first as an NSF postdoc, than as a Gibbs assistant professor. Since 2015 he works at University of Virginia.

Awards and honours received include:

He speaks (in decreasing competence) English (native), Polish (native), French, Mandarin.  He plays piano.


The winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award in 2016 is Kate Juschenko from Northwestern University. 

Kate has been distinguished for her work exploring geometric, analytic and probabilistic aspects of group theory, in particular for providing -with N. Monod- the first examples of finitely generated amenable simple groups. 

Kate Juschenko defended her PhD at Texas A&M in 2011; her advisor was Gilles Pisier. In 2014 she was awarded the AMS Centennial Fellowship. 

She has published 18 papers in reputable mathematical journals.


The first winner of the Kamil Duszenko Award is Thomas Church from Stanford University.

Thomas has been awarded for his works concerning low dimensional topology, kohomologies of arithmetic groups but first of all for discovering and deep exploration of the new phenomenon in the theory of group kohomology named representative stability.

Tom Church launched his doctoral studies at Chicago University at the age of 18. After 5 years he defended his doctoral thesis under Bensona Farb, winning the award for the best PhD work at the University. For the next 4 years he published 17 works in the renowed mathematical journals.

Letter of nomination extract
Tom's work has vision, originality, breadth, technical power and huge theorems proved. He has repeatedly discovered new phenomena, he has built up his own big machinery using ideas from a broad swath of mathematics, and he has applied this machinery to solve concrete problems and reveal new viewpoints on the most concrete mathematical objects. It is also worth mentioning that Church is a multiple award-winning teacher, and he has been extremely generous with his time to help others, from undergraduates to PhD students and postdocs.