Colorado State University Professor Selected to Deliver Prestigious Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture to Mathematicians

Note to Reporters: A photo of Margaret Cheney is available with the news release at

Colorado State University Yates Chair and Professor of Mathematics Margaret Cheney has been selected by two national organizations to present the prestigious Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture to her peers in July.

Cheney was selected by both the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics because of her broad line of research and unconventional approach to providing solutions to several longstanding problems.

She will deliver her lecture during the 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics July 8-12 in San Diego.

"We congratulate Margaret on this distinct and well-deserved honor," said Gerhard Dangelmayr, chair of the Department of Mathematics at CSU. "This lecture is reserved for women who have made significant contributions in applied or computational mathematics."

The Kovalevsky Lecture honors Sonia Kovalevsky, who was the most widely known Russian mathematician of the late 19th century. Kovalevsky did her most important work in the theory of differential equations.

Cheney’s vast research has focused on coupling disparate radar solutions in ways that previously were unknown. Her use of Microlocal Analysis with high-frequency radar scattering has attracted attention as a method that she has now has proven particularly relevant to the problems of radar target detection, tracking and imaging.

Her method has shown how the behaviors of a wide variety of radar scattering scenarios can be isolated from secondary phenomena. Her non-traditional use of the Microlocal Analysis has provided solutions to several problems in radar imaging that had defied previous analysis.

Cheney also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CSU and is also a Visiting Research Professor at Naval Postgraduate School.

Research is a primary component of Cheney’s work, and she has taken several visiting positions at numerous laboratories, universities and institutes. These include the Naval Research Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, Stanford, Lund University, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.

She has written more than 120 research articles and has co-authored the book Fundamentals of Radar Imaging with B. Borden. She is currently an editor for "Inverse Problems" and "Inverse Problems and Imaging" and has been on several editorial boards for various journals. A Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Cheney also served on the board of trustees of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics from 1996 to 2004.

Cheney received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Oberlin College and her doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University. In 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Oberlin. Before coming to CSU, Cheney held positions at Duke University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.