The puzzle solved by Daubechies was how to incorporate the recent wavelet advances by French mathematicians Yves Meyer and Stéphane Mallat, but it is not technically practical. “Put it on your head,” Daubechies would say, but it doesn’t make it ugly. In a statement from Guggenheim, she said: “Mathematicians take it for granted. The math framework is really elegant and beautiful, but to use it in a true application, you need to cut it. They shrug, It’s life — applied mathematics is always a little dirty. I didn’t agree with this view. “
By February 1987, she had laid the foundation for what had grown into a “family” of Daubechies wavelets, each suitable for slightly different tasks. One of the key factors that made her breakthrough possible was the ease of programming the equations and graphing the results, as she installed a computer terminal on her desk for the first time in her career. By that summer, Daubechies had written a treatise, avoided a job freeze and secured a job at AT & T Bell Labs. She started in July and recently moved to a house she bought with Calderbank. The house got married after asking a question last fall. (Calderbank had informed that there was a permanent offer, but he resisted proposing it in honor of Daubechies’ declared opposition to the marriage system.)
The ceremony was held in Brussels in May. Daubechies cooked the entire wedding dinner (with the help of her fiance). This was a Belgian and British chicken feast, with Endib and Lancashire pot stews, chocolate cakes and trifles for 90 guests. She thought 10 days of cooking and baking would be manageable, but she didn’t have enough pots and pans to prepare, or fridge space for storage, not to mention other logistical challenges. I noticed that. The solution with her algorithm is: Ask a friend to lend you the boat you need. Fill the above ship with water, store it in the refrigerator and return it for wedding. She encouraged more gourmet guests to bring hors d’oeuvres instead of gifts. Her mother stepped down and bought an army of salt and pepper shakers.
Daubechies continued her Wavelet studied at the AT & T Bell Labs and was suspended in 1988 to give birth to a baby. It was a period of anxiety and confusion as she lost her ability to perform research-level math in the first few months after giving birth. “No mathematical idea was born,” she says. It scared her. She didn’t tell anyone, even her husband, until her creative motivation gradually returned. Occasionally, she has warned young female mathematicians about the effects of the baby’s brain ever since, and they are grateful for their tips. “I couldn’t imagine having a hard time thinking,” says Duke’s colleague Lillian Pierce. But when that happened, Pierce reminded himself. I will pass. A female student at Daubechies also said she was grateful for her willingness to promote childcare at the conference and sometimes take on her own babysitter duties. “My adviser volunteered to entertain my toddler while I was talking,” said the former PhD. Student Anna Gilbert, a mathematician at Yale University, recalls. “She seamlessly embraced all aspects of work and life.”
In 1993, Daubechies was appointed faculty member at Princeton University. This is the first woman to become a professor of mathematics. She was fascinated by the potential to mix with historians, sociologists, and their likes, as well as electricians and mathematicians. She designed a course called “Math Alive” for non-math and non-science majors and spoke to the general public about “Surfing with Wavelets: A New Approach to Analyzing Sound and Images.” Wavelets were deployed by the FBI in digitizing fingerprint databases and were popular in the real world. Movie animations like “A Bug’s Life” used an algorithm inspired by Wavelet.
“The Daubechies Wavelet is smooth, balanced, doesn’t spread too much, and is easy to implement on your computer.” Terence Tao, Says a mathematician at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a graduate student at Princeton University in the 1990s and took courses from Daubechies. (He won the Fields Medal in 2006.) He says the Dobsey Wavelet can be used “out of the box” for a variety of signal processing issues. In the classroom, Tao recalls. Dobsey had the knack for seeing pure mathematics (for curiosity), applied mathematics (for practical purposes), and physical experience as a unified whole. “For example, when I learned how the inner ear works and realized that it was about the same as the wavelet transform, I think she came to suggest the use of wavelets in speech recognition.” Daubechies Wavelet Driven this field into the digital age. In part, wavelets have proven to be revolutionary because they are mathematically so deep. But most of the time, as Calderbank points out, it was because the tireless community builder Daubechies had her mission to build a network of bridges to other areas.
Eventually, the prizes piled up. Following MacArthur in 1992, she was awarded the American Mathematical Society Steele Award in 1994 for her book “10 Lectures on Wavelets.” In 2000, Daubechies became the first woman to win the National Academy of Sciences Award for Mathematics. By that time, she had two young children. (Her daughter Carolyn, 30, is a data scientist. Her son, Michael, 33, is a high school math teacher on the South Side of Chicago.) And everything looks, she’s all handy I was making ends meet.
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