Jennifer Chayes (Photo/ UC Berkeley's Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society)
Jennifer Chayes is the associate provost for UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society and dean of Berkeley's School of Information. (Photo/ UC Berkeley)

Jennifer Chayes has been elected an honorary member of the United Kingdom’s premier organization advancing, disseminating and promoting mathematical knowledge.

Chayes, associate provost for UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS), is one of two honorary members confirmed by the London Mathematical Society this year, the group said in its July 1 announcement. The society highlighted Chayes’s “fundamental contributions” to mathematics, computation and other related fields in its citation.

“Prof. Chayes’s research has developed and utilized deep connections between mathematics and statistical physics,” the society’s news release said. “It also emphasizes the importance of these ideas for practical computation and machine learning.”

Only a handful of mathematicians who do not live in the UK are confirmed as honorary members each year. Nearly 150 individuals have received this honor since the society was established in 1865.

Chayes, who is also the dean of Berkeley’s School of Information, is renowned for inventing the field of graphons. Further foundational research by Chayes focuses on ethical decision-making and climate change and machine learning, among other areas.

In 2003, Chayes gave the organization’s Mary Cartwright Lecture, a speech named after the group’s first female president. It was her first major public speech about the structure of the internet and World Wide Web, she said.

I am honored and humbled to be included among the distinguished group of mathematicians who are Honorary Members of the London Mathematical Society,” Chayes said. 

Chayes also recently received an honorary doctorate of science from Bard University. The university cited her invention of the field of graphons, among her other work.

CDSS, launched in July 2019, harnesses computing and data science to help solve society’s most intractable challenges. The Division is on the path to become the first new college at Berkeley in more than fifty years, signifying the growing importance of these tools that are changing our lives and society.