September 7, 2010
Professor Abigail Thompson is one of the many female mathematicians around. With a B.A. received from Wellesley College in 1979 and a PhD received from Rutgers University in 1986, she now studies combinational methods in 3-dimensional manifolds or topology. Topology is the study of how geometric objects are basically connected to themselves. Her contributions to the world of mathematics obtain a number of new classifications and decision results and new proofs of old results using an important cut-and-paste concept called thin position. More specifically, she has discovered a simplified argument that an algorithm of Rubinstein decides if a particular 3-manifold is homeomorphism to S^3. Along with this, she has also proven Waldhausen’s theorem to be simplified. Ms. Thompson has written a book along with Colin Adams and Joel happens to be a math bestseller in calculus. An interesting fact about Ms. Thompson is that she was awarded the 2003 AMS Scatter prize from the American Mathematical Society. This award is only given every two years to recognize the hardest working mathematicians. Discovering new methods in mathematics can be tough and time consuming but yet in still Thompson finds ways to give back to her community. She directs a program by the name of COSMOS at UC Davis. It is a four week residential summer program in mathematics and science for talented high school students. So far the program has been great and has influenced the creative minds of young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The main reason for me choosing Ms. Abigail Thompson is because she is a female. Not only is she a female but a very sophisticated female. I appreciate her for taking the chance and making a difference in history. She continues to be an inspiration and I respect her esteem for math.