Olga Holtz received her Diploma (1995) in Applied Mathematics from Southern Ural State University in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and her PhD (2000) in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Hans Schneider. She held a postdoctorate research position (2000-2002) at the Computer Science Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Humboldt fellowship (2002-2003) at the Institute of Mathematics of Technical University Berlin, a Morrey Assistant Professorship (2004-2007) and an Associate Professorship (2007-2010) at the Department of Mathematics of the University of California-Berkeley.

Currently, Holtz is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California-Berkeley, a Professor of Applied Mathematics at Technical University Berlin, and a Professor of Berlin Mathematical School. She is a Sofja Kovalevskaja awardee (2006), a member of the Junge Akademie of Germany (2008), and a European Mathematical Society Prize winner (2008).