Jaclyn Lang (UCLA Math Graduate Student, Professor Haruzo Hida) has been awarded the 2014-15 Charles E. and Sue K. Young Graduate Student Award. Given by the College of Letters and Sciences to six students annually (3 graduate, 3 undergraduate), the award acknowledges students' academic achievements, research, and service to the University and community. This is the second year in a row the award has gone to a UCLA Mathematics graduate student.
Jaclyn decided to pursue her PhD at UCLA because the Math Department’s number theory group gave her the opportunity to engage in exciting research through studying with some of the top professors in the field. Though Jaclyn’s experiences at Bryn Mawr and Cambridge convinced her that she wanted to study number theory, she found that the topics of interest to the UCLA number theory group were fairly different from what she had encountered previously. “It took me some time to learn about modular forms, Galois representations, and the web of conjectures associated with these objects, but I now find these problems fascinating and beautiful.” Jaclyn is currently working on determining the image of certain Galois representations that were defined by her advisor, Professor Haruzo Hida, in the 1980s. “I did a reading course with Professor Hida during the spring of my second year in which I read some of Hartshorne’s Algebraic Geometry. Via this reading course I got to know Professor Hida better and decided I wanted to work with him.” Jaclyn’s work generalizes that of Ribet and Momose who determined the image of certain classical Galois representation in the 1970s and 1980s. Her work is expected to have a rather surprising application to congruences between modular forms.
Outside of the classroom, Jaclyn pursues her love of traditional Irish music through participating in the Irish ensemble in UCLA’s ethnomusicology department. In her free time she also enjoys cooking and cycling. A well-rounded individual and aspiring mathematician, Jaclyn plans to pursue a career in academia upon completing her Ph.D. She enjoys both teaching and research and expects both to be an important part of her career going forward.