Grinnell College Professor Jennifer Paulhus Receives Fulbright Grant

April 15, 2020

Grinnell College Associate Professor of Mathematics Jennifer Paulhus has been awarded a Fulbright grant to teach and conduct research in Chile in Spring 2021.

Jennifer Paulhus

Paulhus will be based in the Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) in Temuco, but will also spend time in Santiago and Concepción. In addition to conducting research about the decomposition of Jacobian varieties with Chilean mathematicians, she will teach a short course on topics in number theory and arithmetic geometry in UFRO's growing Ph.D. program, conduct education-based outreach to Chilean high school students and present talks on mathematics for general and disciplinary audiences.

Paulhus specializes in a field of mathematics known as arithmetic geometry, and her research blends ideas from geometry, algebra and number theory. In the 75-year history of the Fulbright program, she is only the seventh science faculty member from Grinnell College to receive the grant. The most recent Fulbright recipient was mathematician Robert Dieffenbach, who was a grantee in 1971; others include Joseph Danforth, Wayne Denny, Grant Gale, Gene Herman and Givens Thornton. Paulhus is also Grinnell College’s first female STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professor to receive a Fulbright grant. Both the faculty member who will host her in Chile and her most well-established Chilean collaborator are also women.

Paulhus’ Fulbright grant opportunity underscores the possibilities available for international collaboration within a liberal arts context. Many people underestimate the value of global connections as an asset within the discipline of pure mathematics research. Paulhus will not only have the opportunity to share her international experience with Grinnell students, but will also bring a slice of the Grinnell experience to students in Chile. She has developed a new course, Demystifying Mathematics, that is intended to help students outside the sciences gain interest and see the inherent beauty in math.

As Paulhus emphasized in her grant proposal, this project will allow her to continue and expand collaborations with Chilean researchers which have previously been supported by gifts to Grinnell, including the Harris Faculty Fellowship, the Furbush Fellowship, and the Heath Professorship.

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