Ue-Li Pen is among 16 mathematicians and scientists honoured

Theoretical astrophysicist, Ue-Li Pen, has been selected by the Simons Foundation to receive a 2018 Simons Investigators award.

Pen, interim director of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in the Faculty of Arts & Science at U of T, joins 15 others honoured from across North America and Europe. He is the second researcher at a Canadian institution – and the first from U of T – to be tapped for the award since the program was introduced in 2012.

Pen is known for developing innovative tools to create new fields of research. His pioneering work on 21 cm intensity mapping opens a new window for the precision study of dark energy and neutrinos.

Recently, his use of natural plasma in our galaxy as a giant telescope spawned the field of scintillometry, enabling new glimpses into enigmatic pulsars and the unsolved fast radio bursts. The orders of magnitude improved precision may improve our understanding of space-time, including gravitational waves.

The awards – presented by the New York-based Simons Foundation to outstanding scientists in mathematics, physics, astrophysics and theoretical computer science – support researchers in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists.

The award provides $100,000 annually for five years and an additional $10,000 per year is given to the investigator’s department.

This has been also announced on the Simons Foundations website (https://www.simonsfoundation.org/mathematics-physical-sciences/simons-investigators/simons-investigators-awardees/) and also on UofT Arts & Science News (https://news.artsci.utoronto.ca/all-news/u-t-theoretical-astrophysicist-named-simons-investigator/)

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