Gretchen Matthews, a professor in the Department of Mathematics, has been inducted as a 2021 Fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM).

Matthews is being honored for her “contributions to and leadership of activities to encourage girls and women to study and enjoy mathematics; for service to the profession in fostering collaborative research groups with junior faculty and postdocs; and for excellence in mentoring,” according to the AWM.

According to the AWM, the Fellows program was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the support and advancement of women in the mathematical sciences.

Founded in 1971, the AWM’s mission, according to its website, is “to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.”

Matthews’ research is in applications of algebraic geometry to data storage, protection, and security, especially coding theory and cryptography. She is director of the new cryptography and cybersecurity option, within the Academy of Integrated Science’s Computational Modeling and Data Analytics program, and Director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) Southwest Virginia.

She joined Virginia Tech in 2018, after earning a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1999, both in mathematics.

Matthews and her class of Fellows will be celebrated at the virtual AWM Award Ceremony at the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings on January 8, 2021.