Berkeley mathematician Svetlana Jitomirskaya awarded inaugural Barry Prize

November 10, 2023

Headshot of Professor Svetlana JitomirskayaSvetlana Jitomirskaya, UC Berkeley professor of mathematics, has been awarded the American Academy of Sciences and Letters' inaugural 2023 Barry Prize for Distinguished Intellectual Achievement. The Barry Prize is the Academy's foremost program designed to recognize and celebrate "outstanding contributions to humanity's knowledge, appreciation, and cultivation of the good, the true, and the beautiful." The annual award is open to scholars from diverse fields and disciplines, and recipients are honored with a $50,000 cash award and become members of the academy. Jitomirskaya and nine other scholars were presented with the Academy's Barry Prize during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on November 8. 

Dr. Jitomirskaya's award citation for the Barry Prize recognized her innovative contributions to the field of mathematics. "Svetlana Jitomirskaya has done pioneering work in an area of mathematical physics stemming from the quantum mechanics of two-dimensional materials and lying at the fertile interplay of many exciting branches of modern mathematics. In the course of this work, she developed novel methods and new ideas for some of the central problems in the field, transforming the way mathematicians look at these problems and attracting a new generation of young researchers. The Academy honors Dr. Jitomirskaya for her distinguished scientific contributions and intense dedication to preserving the highest standards of academic excellence."

"I am deeply humbled and profoundly honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the inaugural Barry Prize, alongside an extraordinary group of individuals," said Jitomirskaya. "I am especially inspired by the Academy's mission to promote not only excellence in scholarship, but also independence of mind, and intellectual courage.  I hope the AASL will play a pivotal role in bolstering and upholding our society's commitment to the highest standards of honest inquiry and academic excellence."

The American Academy of Sciences and Letters promotes learning and honors outstanding scholarly excellence and intellectual courage in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, as well as in the arts and the learned professions. More details are available on the American Academy of Sciences and Letters website.