Hess is a professor of mathematics and life sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéralede Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. She received her PhD from MIT. Her research focuses on algebraic topology and its applications, primarily in the life sciences, but also in materials science. She has published extensively on topics in pure algebraic topology including homotopy theory, operad theory, and algebraic K-theory, and has co-authored the monograph String Topology and Cyclic Homology (Birkhäuser Basel, 2006). Current collaborations include the Blue Brain Project, which, as described by Hess, involves “applying algebraic topology to analyzing how the structure of the brain shapes its function, which is one of the central mysteries of neuroscience.”
In 2016, Prof. Hess was named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society for her "contributions to homotopy theory, applications of topology to the analysis of biological data, and service to the mathematical community", and was elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. She has also been recognised as a distinguished speaker of the European Mathematical Society (2017). Among her numerous teaching awards are the “Polysphère d’Or” and best teacher in the Faculty of Life Sciences from EPFL. In addition, she has served as a member of several international organizations, including at present the Standing Committee for European Women in Mathematics, and the International Advisory Committee for the International Congress of Mathematicians - ICM 2022.
Prof. Hess has made significant contributions in outreach and development within the mathematical community, including co-founding the network “Women in Topology” in 2011, and creating the Euler course at EPFL, an accelerated maths programme for children with exceptional mathematical potential.
We look forward to welcoming Professor Hess at the 8ECM!
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