Autumn Kent is an American mathematician specializing in topology and geometry. She is an associate professor of mathematics and Vilas Associate at the University of Wisconsin. She is a transgender woman and a promoter of trans rights. In 2019, she received a Simons Fellowship.
Kent received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1999. Originally, she had planned to become a high-school English teacher, but she switched to mathematics, majoring in it and in literature. She earned her Ph.D. under the advising of Cameron McAllan Gordon at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006; her dissertation was entitled Geometry and Algebra of Hyperbolic 3-manifolds. In 2010, she joined the faculty of UW–Madison, where she became Associate Professor in 2016.
Kent has published over 20 papers in various journals, mostly regarding low dimensional topology and knot theory. Many of these were published under her former name, or deadname, before she came out as transgender.
In 1999, Kent won the Frank Gerth Dissertation Award. In 2014, she was awarded an NSF Career Award to study moduli of Riemann surfaces. In 2015 and 2016, she was a von Neumann Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. She was named as a Vilas Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 2018 and 2019. In 2019, she was awarded a Simons Fellowship.
Kent serves on the Policy and Advocacy Committee for the Association for Women in Mathematics. In addition, she served on the Association for Women in Mathematics Panel Discussion Promoting Inclusion in STEM at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meeting. With Harrison Bray, she is organizing the LG&TBQ+ conference at the University of Michigan to foster collaboration between LGBTQ+ mathematicians working in geometry, topology, and dynamical systems with funding from Kent's NSF Career Award.