Lauren K. Williams is the Sally Starling Seaver Professor at the Radcliffe Institute and the Dwight Parker Robinson Professor of Mathematics in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Her research is in algebraic combinatorics; more specifically, she uses algebraic tools to study discrete structures in mathematics. Among her best-known work are combinatorial formulas for the stationary distribution of the asymmetric simple exclusion process (a model for traffic flow and translation in protein synthesis) and structural results for soliton solutions to the Kadomtsev-Petviashvili equation.
During her fellowship year at Radcliffe, Williams is working with Sergey Fomin and Andrei Zelevinsky on the book “Introduction to Cluster Algebras.” She is also continuing her research on interacting particle systems, the positive Grassmannian, and the amplituhedron.
Williams received her BA in mathematics from Harvard College, and after a year at the University of Cambridge completing Part III of the Mathematical Tripos, she obtained her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Subsequently, she was a National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley; a Benjamin Peirce Fellow at Harvard; and a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at Berkeley. She is the recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, the AWM-Microsoft Research Prize in Algebra and Number Theory, a Rose Hills Innovator Program award, a Simons Fellowship, a Distinguished Teaching & Service Award from the Mathematics Undergraduate Student Association at Berkeley, and the 2018 Hardy Lectureship from the London Mathematical Society.