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VUB alumna Ingrid Daubechies, one of the world’s leading mathematicians, received an honorary degree from Harvard University at its commencement ceremony May 30.


Daubechies was one of nine honorary degree recipients; others included German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Lonnie G. Bunch III, the newly named director of the Smithsonian Institute; former Harvard President and noted historian Drew Faust; and New Yorker editor and author David Remnick.


Daubechies, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University is well known for her discovery and mathematical analysis of compactly supported wavelets, which are fundamental to the image compression technology that has revolutionized the use of JPGs and other digital image formats.


Daubechies’ current research focuses on the development of analytic and geometric tools for the comparison of surfaces, an understanding that is central to many scientific disciplines and to the construction of video animations and many medical and biological applications.


In addition, she is well known for her efforts to promote mathematics education, particularly efforts that promote the contributions of women mathematicians.


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