Jessica Purcell Mormon Scholar
Jessica Purcell is a scientist and mathematics professor. She joined a handful of Brigham Young University professors to be awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship; former chemistry professor H. Tracy Hall is the only other person to receive the honor while on the faculty at BYU. Two other Sloan Fellows earned the award prior to joining the BYU faculty. The Sloan Research Fellowship is awarded to early-career scientists with the potential to make substantial contributions in their field. Purcell was an associate professor at BYU from September 2013 to July 2015 and an assistant professor from June 2007 to August 2013. She is an associate professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Purcell earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in mathematics (minor in computer science) from the University of Utah. She earned her master’s in mathematics from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University. Her dissertation was “Cusp shapes of hyperbolic link complements and Dehn filling.” She was a postdoctoral instructor and VIGRE instructor at the University of Texas, Austin, and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford Mathematical Institute.
In addition to the Sloan Research Fellowship, she has won several other national and international awards, including the Alice Schafer Prize from the Association for Women in Mathematics and teaching awards from Stanford and BYU. She is the author and coauthor of many papers in her field.