Susan Hermiller of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Mathematics has been named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Hermiller, Willa Cather Professor of Mathematics, has joined the esteemed group of mathematicians from around the globe, joining the seven Nebraska faculty previously inducted.
The AMS fellows program recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Hermiller is one of 65 who were elected fellows in the class of 2019.
Hermiller was inducted for her contributions to combinatorial and geometric group theory and for service to the profession, particularly in support of underrepresented groups.
Hermiller’s research in geometric group theory focuses on the study of algorithmic, growth, and homological properties of groups, as well as applications to low dimensional topology and computational algebra. In much of her research, she finds large classes of groups for which algorithmic problems have particularly tractable solutions, and she uses geometric properties to obtain bounds on the complexity of those solutions. Conversely, in her work she also determines what algebraic, asymptotic, geometric, or topological properties of a group are implied by such algorithms. She is known for her work on rewriting systems for groups, and in particular, developing algorithms using computers with a finite amount of memory, with applications to the study of 3-manifolds (topological spaces that locally look like 3-dimensional Euclidean space) and the study of groups of piecewise linear homeomorphisms.
Hermiller’s service to the profession includes serving on the AMS Council and Science Policy Committee, and chairing the development committees for both the GRE subject test and the Major Field Test in mathematics. Her work to improve the representation of women in mathematics includes service on the AMS-ASA-AWM-IMS-MAA-NCTM-SIAM Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences, as a co-author of UNL’s NSF-ADVANCE best practices documents, and as an initial co-organizer of the Nebraska Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.
As Graduate Chair for the math department, she has greatly enhanced the placement of many Nebraska students in prestigious internships and non-academic careers both locally and nationally.