|From||United States of America|
Kathryn Hess is a professor of mathematics at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is known for her work on homotopy theory, category theory, and algebraic topology, both pure and applied. In particular, she applies the methods of algebraic topology to better understanding neurology and cancer biology. She is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Kathryn Hess was born 21 September 1967 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She began to accelerate in mathematics in 1979, thanks to the Mathematical Talent Development Project (MTDP) set up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin by her parents, through the Association for High Potential Children, which they also founded. Both programs are defunct at this point. Hess received her doctorate in mathematics from MIT in 1989 under the direction of David J. Anick. Her dissertation was entitled A Proof of Ganea's Conjecture for Rational Spaces.
Hess has worked and written extensively on topics in algebraic topology including homotopy theory, model categories and algebraic K-theory. She has also used the methods of algebraic topology and category theory to investigate homotopical generalizations of descent theory and Hopf-Galois extensions. In particular, she has studied generalizations of these structures for ring spectra and differential graded algebras.
She has more recently used algebraic topology to understand structures in neurology and materials science.
Awards and honors
Hess received the Polysphere d'Or Teaching Award for her teaching at EPFL in 2013. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the American Math Society for "contributions to homotopy theory, applications of topology
to the analysis of biological data, and service to the mathematical community". In 2017, she received an award as a distinguished speaker of the European Mathematical Society.