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Bryna Kra elected to National Academy of Sciences

Math professor recognized for distinguished achievements in original research

Northwestern University mathematician Bryna Kra has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. 

Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States.

Bryna kra
Bryna Kra

Kra is the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She is among 100 new members and 25 foreign associates elected this year in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

New members will be inducted at the academy’s annual meeting next year.

Known for her groundbreaking contributions to ergodic theory, Kra solved a long-standing question on the existence of the limit of certain multiple ergodic averages. This work uncovered the role of nilpotent groups and their homogenous spaces in analyzing configurations in sets of integers. 

Kra’s most recent work lies in topological and symbolic dynamics, studying the algebraic and combinatorial properties of systems with low complexity.

Kra is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the Levi L. Conant Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 2010 and a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics from the Simons Foundation in 2016. She is also on the Board of Trustees for the American Mathematical Society and served as chair of Northwestern’s mathematics department from 2009 to 2012.