Alison Miller

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Alison Beth Miller is an American mathematician.

Miller was home-schooled in Niskayuna, New York, and in 2000 came in third place in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.[1] She competed for the U.S. in the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2004, where she became the first American female gold medalist.[2][3][4][5]

As an undergraduate, she studied mathematics at Harvard University; while at Harvard, she wrote three research papers in mathematics (two on modular forms in number theory and one on permutation patterns giving the best upper bounds known for superpatterns). She won the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam award for outstanding performance by a woman in the Putnam Competition in 2005, 2006, and 2007,[6] equalling the record set ten years earlier by Ioana Dumitriu. She coached American girls participating in the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad in 2007, the first year that the U.S. was represented in that Olympiad.[7][8] In 2008 she became the co-winner of the Alice T. Schafer Prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman from the Association for Women in Mathematics.[6][9] That year she also received her B.A. degree with Highest Honors in Mathematics from Harvard University.[10] Her senior thesis, for which she won the Hoopes Prize,[11] was titled "Explicit Class Field Theory in Function Fields: Gross-Stark Units and Drinfeld Modules." She was then awarded a Churchill Scholarship to study for a year at the University of Cambridge in England.[5][10][12]

She earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2014, under the supervision of Manjul Bhargava; her dissertation concerned knot invariants.[13] She is currently a postdoc at Harvard University.


  1. ^ Missouri seventh-grader wins spelling bee, Associated Press, June 1, 2000, Both the runner-up and the third-place finisher, 14-year-old Alison Miller of Niskayuna, N.Y., also are educated at home. 
  2. ^ Eliot, Lise (2011), Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps – and What We Can Do about It, Oneworld Publications, p. 213, ISBN 9781851687992, In 2004, Alison Miller became the first American girl to win a gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad .
  3. ^ Congratulations, Alison!, Math Forum, Drexel University School of Education, 2004, retrieved 2013-04-20 .
  4. ^ Rimer, Sara (October 10, 2008), "Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds", New York Times, Since [Melanie Wood in 1998], two female high school students, Alison Miller, from upstate New York, and Sherry Gong, whose parents emigrated to the United States from China, have made the United States team (they both won gold) .
  5. ^ a b Ceceri, Kathy (August 13, 2010), "What Makes Kids Love Math: Community and Playfulness", Wired . Includes an extended description of Miller's home education and early interest in mathematics.
  6. ^ a b "Schafer Prize Co-Winner: Alison Miller", Eighteenth Annual Alice T. Schafer Prize, Association for Women in Mathematics, 2008, retrieved 2013-04-20 .
  7. ^ Tucker, Jill (August 6, 2007), "It's some girls' idea of fun – math camp", San Francisco Chronicle .
  8. ^ Mangaliman, Jessie (August 11, 2007), "South Bay girls defy stereotype in math contest", San Jose Mercury-News .
  9. ^ Prizes and Awards at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, Mathematics Association of America, January 14, 2008, retrieved 2013-04-20 .
  10. ^ a b Riddle, Larry, Did You Know Archive, Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College, retrieved 2013-04-20 .
  11. ^ Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium aka Math Table, Harvard Mathematics Department, retrieved 2013-04-20, Dustin Clausen and Alison Miller were recipients of the Hoopes Prizes this year, for their outstanding senior theses .
  12. ^ "Senior awarded prestigious Churchill Scholarship", Harvard Gazette, March 13, 2008 .
  13. ^ Alison Beth Miller at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.

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