He submitted a paper to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) entitled Partition Congruences and the Andrews-Garvan-Dyson Crank in 2005, and the paper won the PNAS first Paper of the Year prize.
The paper extends a result first conjectured by Srinivasa Ramanujan and later detailed by Freeman Dyson, George Andrews, Frank Garvan, and Mahlburg's advisor Ken Ono called the crank having to do with congruence patterns in partitions. Until recently such congruence patterns were only known to occur for 5, 7, and 11. Mahlburg's result extends this to all prime numbers.
Mahlburg was an undergraduate at Harvey Mudd College, where he graduated with highest distinction in 2001 with a B.S. in Mathematics. In 2006, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a Ph.D. in Mathematics. He is currently on the mathematics faculty at LSU.
Mahlburg's Erdős number is 3.