June 4, 1966 -
Svenlana Jitomirskaya was born on June 4, 1966, and raised in Kharkov, Ukraine, in a family of two accomplished mathematicians (later three, counting her older brother). [Her mother was Valentina Mikhailovna Borok.] She received her undergraduate degree (1987) and Ph.D. (1991) from Moscow State University. Since 1990 she has held a research position at the Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory in Moscow. In 1991 she came with her family to southern California. She was employed by the University of California, Irvine, as a part-time lecturer (1991-92) and rose through the ranks to become a visiting assistant professor (1992-94) and then a regular faculty member (since 1994). She took a leave from UCI to spend nine months at Caltech (1996). She was a Sloan Fellow (1996-2000) and a speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2002.
Jitomirskaya was awarded the 2005 Satter Prize from the American Mathematical Society. This prize is awarded every two years to recognize an outstanding contribution to mathematics research by a woman in the previous five years. Following is the selection committee's citation:
The Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics is awarded to Svetlana Jitomirskaya for her pioneering work on non-perturbative quasiperiodic localization, in particular for results in her papers (1) "Metal-insulator transition for the almost Mathieu operator", Ann. of Math. (2) 150 (1999), no. 3, 1159-1175, and (2) with J. Bourgain, "Absolutely continuous spectrum for 1D quasiperiodic operators", Invent. Math. 148 (2002), no. 3, 453-463. In her Annals paper, she developed a non-perturbative approach to quasiperiodic localization and solved the long-standing Aubry-Andre conjecture on the almost Mathieu operator. Her paper with Bourgain contains the first general non-perturbative result on the absolutely continuous spectrum.
Svetlana Jitomirskaya served as vice president of the International Association of Mathematical Physics for 2012–2014 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018. She was the recipient of the 2020 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics presented by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. The award is given annually to recognize significant contributions to the field. Jitomirskaya was the second woman to receive this award. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Irvine