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Dr. David Sher Receives 2024 DePaul Spirit of Inquiry Award

The College of Science and Health congratulates 2024 Spirit of Inquiry recipient Dr. David Sher from the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

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​​The College of Science and Health congratulates Dr. David Sher, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, on receiving the 2024 DePaul University Spirit of Inquiry Award. The award honors a variety of accomplishments that embody the spirit of creative inquiry, including research, scholarly, and creative pursuits, and which inspire students to seek and expand knowledge.

Dr. Sher received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2012 and arrived at DePaul University as an Assistant Professor in 2016.  A specialist in spectral geometry (which studies the relationship between an object's geometry and its vibration frequencies), Dr. Sher's research in mathematics pushes the boundaries of scientific inquiry. He has published 11 peer-reviewed articles in top-ranked journals since 2020, including an article in Inventiones Mathematicae where he and his co-authors proved a more than 60-year old conjecture originally proposed by famed mathematician George Pòlya. While already proved for non-circular shapes, Dr. Sher's breakthrough work demonstrated that Pòlya's conjecture is true for circular shapes as well, a conundrum that had remained unsolved for decades.  Dr. Sher is also a leading expert on other areas of spectral inquiry, including the Stekl​ov problem, which attempts to measure the frequencies of a sloshing fluid (such as wine in a glass). His work continues to make innovative strides in this technically complicated area of mathematics.

Dr. Sher's commitment to pursuing and disseminating  knowledge is further demonstrated in his collaboration with international scholars – since 2022 he has given 8 invited talks in multiple countries, working with a large group of diverse colleagues from the US and Canada to Italy, Finland, and Switzerland. His scholarship truly represents the character of this prestigious award, and DePaul's dedication to intellectual leadership.