20 March 2017

Sparreska Prize to Dan Petersen


The Sparreska Prize will be rewarded to Dan Petersen, associate professor at Department for Mathematical Sciences, by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Dan PetersenThe Sparreska Prize is rewarded to young mathematicians (under 30 years) for scientific work of great merit. Dan Petersen is rewarded for his work regarding moduli spaces of stable curves and their tautological rings.

Dan was born in Sweden in 1985. He studied engineering physics at the Royal Institute of Technology, but during his first year of studies, he realized that mathematics was his one true passion. Having achieved a Master’s degree, Dan Petersen began doctoral studies in mathematics under the direction of Professor Carel Faber. He obtained the title of PhD in 2013. Afterwards, he was given a postdoctoral position at ETH in Zürich.

Dan came to University of Copenhagen in November 2014, first as assistant professor, since May 2016 as associate professor. He is working with the Centre for Symmetry and Deformation at the Department for Mathematical Sciences.

Dan’s doctoral dissertation was entitled “Topology of moduli spaces and operads”. The dissertation was awarded The Stockholm Mathematics Centre’s Prize for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation – and the year after The International Stefan Banach Prize for a Doctoral Dissertation in the Mathematical Sciences.

Dan Petersen’s main work on moduli spaces of curves and tautological rings is contained in these three articles:

  • "The structure of the tautological ring in genus one" (Duke Math. J. 2014)
  • "The Gorenstein conjecture fails for the tautological ring of $M_{2,n}$" (with Orsola Tommasi, Invent. Math. 2014)
  • "The tautological ring of the space of pointed genus two curves of compact type" (Compositio Math. 2016)

“In the first I give a proof of a result that Getzler announced in the mid-90s, but he never gave a proof of, which gives a precise description of the tautological ring in genus one. The other two provide counterexamples to a conjecture by Faber, also from the mid-90s. The first two I wrote as PhD student in Stockholm and the third as a postdoc at ETH Zürich”, Dan Petersen explains.

Dan will receive The Sparreska Prize 2017 (SEK 75,000) at a ceremony at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 12 April 2017.