Einstein said, “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”
If so, then last Tuesday evening we held a reception and lit the Tower orange to honor three of UT’s greatest poets, all of whom recently have won extremely prestigious awards in mathematics.
- Ivo M. Babuska won the 2012 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement “for his many pioneering advances in the numerical solution of partial differential equations over the last half century.” Dr. Babuska hails from Prague, previously taught at the University of Maryland, and is a professor of aerospace engineering, holding the Trull Chair in Engineering.
- Luis Caffarelli won Israel’s 2012 Wolf Prize, along with seven other American, British, and Israeli recipients. The Math Department now has two Wolf Prize winners on faculty, the other being John Tate, who won in 2002. Originally from Buenos Aires, Dr. Caffarelli taught at Minnesota, Chicago, NYU, and Princeton before coming to UT, where he holds the Sid Richardson Chair in Mathematics. His research interests include nonlinear analysis, partial differential equations and their applications, calculus of variations and optimization.
- Bjorn Engquist won the 2012 AMS-SIAM George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics, “for his contributions to a wide range of powerful computational methods over more than three decades.” (SIAM=Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics). From Stockholm, Dr. Engquist has taught at UCLA, Princeton, and the Royal Inst. of Technology in Stockholm and now holds the Computational and Applied Mathematics Chair at UT.
All three are also affiliated with UT’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.
Adding to the stature of mathematics at UT, the department is in the rare situation of now hosting four concurrent National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellows – truly a hallmark of an elite group. I congratulate all these winners and department chair Alan Reid for his leadership of such a groundbreaking program.
Hook ’em Horns,