Alexander Cohen studies how waves interfere with each other—a topic of mathematics called harmonic analysis. He is inspired by the way that rigorous analytical techniques in mathematics can offer insight into mysterious phenomena in applied science, such as computer science and physics.
Cohen is a first-year graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a dual BS/MS degree in mathematics from Yale University in 2021. At the CUNY Combinatorics REU, he worked with Professor Guy Moshkovitz to apply ideas from algebraic geometry to a sharp understanding of how structure and randomness are related for polynomials. With Professor Wilhelm Schlag and classmate Zhenhao Li, he used a combination of rigorous numerical techniques and analytical methods to prove the uniqueness of a “first excited state” soliton in the cubic nonlinear Klein-Gordon equation.
He was recognized for his work with a Barry Goldwater Scholarship and an honorable mention for the Morgan prize — one of the highest undergraduate honors in mathematics.
A native of New York City, Cohen enjoys going on long walks and watching movies.