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Ingrid Daubechies

Ingrid Daubechies
Ingrid Daubechies (2005).jpg
Ingrid Daubechies in 2005
Born (1954-08-17) 17 August 1954 (age 62)
Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium
Fields Mathematician
Institutions Duke University
Princeton University
Alma mater Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Doctoral advisor Jean Reignier
Alex Grossmann
Doctoral students Anna Gilbert
Özgür Yılmaz
Rachel Ward
Known for Wavelets
Notable awards Noether Lecturer (2006)
NAS Award in Mathematics (2000)
Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2012)
MacArthur Fellowship

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award
Leroy P. Steele Prize (2011)

Baroness Ingrid Daubechies (/dbiˈʃ/ doh-bee-SHEE; born 17 August 1954) is a Belgian physicist and mathematician. Between 2004 and 2011 she was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the mathematics and applied mathematics departments at Princeton University. She taught at Princeton for 16 years. In January 2011 she moved to Duke University as a professor in mathematics. She was the first woman to be president of the International Mathematical Union (2011–2014). She is best known for her work with wavelets in image compression.

Daubechies was born in Houthalen, Belgium, as the daughter of Marcel Daubechies (a civil mining engineer) and Simonne Duran (then a homemaker, later a criminologist). Ingrid remembers that when she was a little girl and could not sleep, she did not count numbers, as you would expect from a child, but started to multiply numbers by two from memory. Thus, as a child, she already familiarized herself with the properties of exponential growth. Her parents found out that mathematical conceptions, like cone and tetrahedron, were familiar to her before she reached the age of 6. She excelled at the primary school, moved up a class after only 3 months. After completing the Lyceum in Turnhout she entered the Vrije Universiteit Brussel at 17. Daubechies completed her undergraduate studies in physics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1975. During the next few years, she visited the CNRS Center for Theoretical Physics in Marseille several times, where she collaborated with Alex Grossmann; this work was the basis for her doctorate in quantum mechanics. She obtained her Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1980, and continued her research career at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel until 1987, rising through the ranks to positions roughly equivalent with research assistant-professor in 1981 and research associate-professor 1985, funded by a fellowship from the NFWO (Nationaal Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek).

  • Ten Lectures on Wavelets. Philadelphia: SIAM. 1992. ISBN . 


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