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About Sarah Spence Adams

Dr. Adams maintains an active research program partly focused on mathematical structures used to increase the reliability and efficiency of wireless communications and partly focused on graphs used to model communications and social networks. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in mathematics at Cornell University, where she was also a member of the Wireless Intelligent Systems Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She holds a B.S. (summa cum laude) in mathematics from the University of Richmond. Dr. Adams has conducted research at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Center for Communications Research and the National Security Agency (NSA). Her short book on algebraic coding theory is used to introduce applications to abstract algebra classes. She is an ExxonMobil Fellow in the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) Project NExT and serves on MAA national committees involving undergraduate programs/research. In recent years, she received an NSA Young Investigator's Award to support her research in space-time coding, a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop a multi-faceted coding theory and cryptology course, and an NSF grant to support her Long-term Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) model for engaging early undergraduates in meaningful research experiences.


Present Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Olin College of Engineering

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • NSA Young Investigator's Award


  • Discrete Math

Articles (24)

Conference Proceedings (1)