Nancy Scherich wins Dance Your Ph.D. contest

Award Recipient: 

Nancy Scherich

Award Date: 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nancy Scherich, a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department at UCSB, has won Science Magazine's annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest.  Her entry illustrated her research into braid group theory through aerial interpretive dance.

The contest, now in its tenth year, attracted 53 entries from around the world. Entrants competed in four different scientific categories and were judged based on the artistic and scientific merits of their performances.

Scherich wrote her master's thesis on knot theory; her Ph.D. work is in the closely related field of braids, diagrams of intersecting strings that can extend into multiple dimensions. Specifically, she studies ways of representing braids as matrices, a form that allows applying many other powerful mathematical tools and theories.


  • Award
  • dance
  • Topology
  • knot theory
  • braid groups