Fellowship / Fellows

Melanie Matchett Wood

  • 2022–2023
  • Mathematics
  • Radcliffe Alumnae Professor
  • Harvard University
Portrait of Melanie Matchett Wood
Photo by Kevin Grady

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Melanie Matchett Wood is a professor of mathematics at Harvard University and a Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She studies questions about how number systems can be expanded into larger systems and how such expansions affect primes and factorization in the number systems. 

During her Radcliffe fellowship, Wood plans to develop new tools in the probability theory of random algebraic structures, motivated by the classical probability theory of random numbers. Her goal is to apply a probabilistic viewpoint to better understand the distribution of different kinds of factorization behavior across the universe of possible number systems.  

Wood has been awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering and the AWM Microsoft Research Prize in Algebra and Number Theory, and she is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In 2022, Wood was named a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2021, she received a National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award, the nation’s highest honor for early-career scientists and engineers. She completed her PhD at Princeton University under the supervision of Manjul Bhargava.

Professor Melanie Matchett Wood on Number Theory, Failing, and Her Lifetime Supply of Hagoromo Chalk (Harvard Crimson, 2/17/23)

Why 2 Is the Best Number and Other Secrets from a MacArthur-Winning Mathematician (Scientific American, 11/22/22)

Harvard Math Professor Melanie Matchett Wood Wins "Genius Grant" (Harvard Crimson, 10/13/22)

Harvard Mathematician Melanie Matchett Wood Named MacArthur Fellow (Harvard Gazette, 10/12/22)

Our 2023–2024 Fellows

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