Ingrid Daubechies Elected to Royal Society

Ingrid Daubechies
Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering has been elected to the Royal Society, an honor considered second only to the Nobel Prize according to the science community of the United Kingdom.

The recognition, granted by the Fellows of the Royal Society of London, is awarded to individuals who have made a “substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science.”

Belgian-American mathematician and physicist Daubechies is best known as the pioneer of wavelets, a mathematical tool that makes it possible to highlight the information that matters most in an image. 

As a scholar who has always been interested in how things work, Daubechies’ scientific contributions have been instrumental in advancing the field of “signal processing,” or how information is conveyed. Over the decades, her research has had broad and far-reaching influence. From the invention of image-compression algorithms like the JPEG2000 to research on how mathematicians can help restore ancient works of art, Daubechies has made significant contributions and broken barriers for other women entering the sciences.

Daubechies joins the Royal Society as a foreign member (ForMemRS), an election reserved for citizens of countries outside the UK. ForMemRS awardees occupy a small percentage of those selected from the hundreds of candidate submissions, all of whom must be nominated by existing Royal Society Fellows.

In additional to the Royal Society, Daubechies is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a 1992 MacArthur Fellow, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow for Natural Sciences and the recipient of a blue Pi award for her service as judge for a Pi Day competition she started at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.