Ingrid Daubechies, winner of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award
On 14 March 2019, mathematician and physicist Ingrid Daubechies received the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award. This exceptional scientist is also involved in the fight for equal opportunities.
This prize has rewarded five female researchers from around the world every year for the last 20 years. More than 3,000 women from 117 different countries have already been recognised for their pioneering research in scientific disciplines such as chemistry, physics and mathematics.
On 14 March, Ingrid Daubechies was rewarded for her pioneering work on "wavelet theory", which has led to things as different as the reconstruction of the first images from the Hubble telescope, medical imaging, the electronic sharing of fingerprints, digital cinema and the compression of sound sequences onto an MP3 file so that files can be stored and played on a smartphone.
Ingrid Daubechies, a Brussels-born naturalised American, has studied and built a career on two continents. After earning a PhD in theoretical physics from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), she became the very first female professor of mathematics at the prestigious Princeton University. She continued her career as a professor at Duke University in North Carolina and also became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.
As well as her scientific prowess, Ingrid Daubechies has actively helped to extend access to mathematics and science in emerging countries. A cause she vigorously defended as President of the International Mathematical Union from 2011 to 2014.