News & Announcements
February 20, 2024
Jinyoung Park, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, has been named a 2024 Sloan Research Fellow. This year's 126 fellows "represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada."
Professor Park’s research includes deepening our understanding of random discrete structures. Her work uses tools from several areas, including combinatorics, probability theory, and information theory, to analyze the location of phase transitions (e.g. molecular changes that occur when water turns to ice), important phenomena in physics and social networks characterizing the boundary between connected and disconnected phases. In her recent work, she provided a unified characterization for many such transitions by exploiting tools from the aforementioned areas that seemingly had no connection to phase transitions.
Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 93 faculty from NYU have been selected as recipients. Winners receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.
February 9, 2024
Jonathan Niles-Weed, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Data Science, has won the the 2024 SIAG/DATA Early Career Prize. The SIAM Activity Group on Data Science Early Career Prize (SIAG/DATA Early Career Prize) is awarded every two years to an outstanding early career researcher. The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding, influential, and potentially long-lasting contributions to the Mathematical, Statistical and Computational foundations of Data Science within six years of receiving their Ph.D.
The selection committee chose to honor Professor Niles-Weed for his “contributions to the computational and statistical properties of optimal transport.” The prize will be awarded during the 2024 SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Data Science (MDS24) to be held in Atlanta, Georgia this October.
January 24, 2024
Jinyoung Park, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, has won the 2024 Dénes König Prize alongside Stanford's Huy Tuan Pham. The award is distributed every two years by the SIAM Activity Group on Discrete Mathematics to early-career researchers. Professor Park and her co-author are recognized for “outstanding research in discrete mathematics, in special recognition of their ingenious, short and surprising proof of the Kahn-Kalai conjecture.” The Dénes König Prize will be presented during the 2024 SIAM Conference on Discrete Mathematics (DM24) in Baltimore this March.
January 22, 2024
Sylvia Serfaty, Silver Professor of Mathematics, has received the 2024 Maryam Mirzakhani Prize in Mathematics. Awarded biennially by the National Academy of Sciences, the prize recognizes exceptional contributions to the mathematical sciences by a mid-career mathematician. It is named in honor of the late Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017), a highly accomplished mathematician who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal.
Professor Serfaty is celebrated for her "impactful contributions to the study of nonlinear partial differential equations, variational problems, and statistical physics problems." The NAS recognizes that Professor Serfaty's "creative approach and capacity to work on a diverse but coherent family of problems shed new light on the Ginzburg-Landau model of superconductivity and the statistical mechanics of Coulomb-type systems."
The award will be presented during the NAS 161st Annual Meeting on April 28th. You can read more about this impressive acheivement here. Congratulations Professor Serfaty!
December 15, 2023
Yuri Tschinkel, Professor of Mathematics, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Miami in Florida. Professor Tschinkel received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished efforts in mathematics, especially for his continued efforts to make math more accessible.
He delivered the remarks at the university's 2023 Fall Graduate Degree Ceremony on December 14th. “Situated between philosophy and the exact sciences, mathematics is known and sometimes feared for being abstract and impenetrable,” Professor Tschinkel addressed the crowd of 500 graduates and their families. “Seventy years ago, people wondered about effectiveness of math, but today it is unreasonably effective. Mathematics has become the heart of computers, communications, organizations, management, and of business. It is universal, and it is everywhere.”
You can see a recording of the ceremony here.
Every two years, ETH Zurich awards the Heinz Hopf Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of pure mathematics. This year's honoree is Professor Lai-Sang Young. A member of Courant's faculty since 1999, Professor Young is recognized for her contributions as a versatile dynamicist. She is currently working towards a mathematical model of the brain, and in particular on a biologically realistic computational model of the visual cortex, with the aim of gaining insight into human vision through the lens of mathematics.
The prize honors the memory of Professor Heinz Hopf, who taught at ETH Zurich from 1931-1965 and made important contributions to various fields of mathematics. The prize is awarded every two years on the occasion of the Heinz Hopf Lectures, which are delivered by the laureates.The 2023 Heinz Hopf Symposium took place in Switzerland this week; Professor Young spoke on "What happens when oscillators are disturbed?" and "Typical trajectories and observable events in deterministic and random dynamical systems."
You can find more information on the conference, the prize, and Professor Young's significant achievements here.
The Breakthrough Prizes—aka the 'Oscars of Science'—were announced last week. Roland Bauerschmidt, Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize for 2024. Congratulations!
Professor Bauerschmidt is recognized "for outstanding contributions to probability theory and the development of renormalisation group techniques." Read more about the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and this year's winners here. The laureates will be celebrated next April at the 10th annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Los Angeles.
Professor Vlad Vicol has been named as a 2023 Simons Investigator in Mathematics. Selected by the Simons Foundation, nominees are "judged on their potential for innovative contributions to science over the coming years." Once chosen, Invistigators receive significant support for their research. They are appointed for an initial period of five years.
Vlad Vicol joined the Courant Institute in 2018 as an Associate Professor; he was made a Professor of Mathematics in 2020. His research focuses on the analysis of nonlinear PDEs arising in fluid dynamics. Professor Vicol had recieved the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the 2019 Clay Research Award. He was invited to speak at the 2022 International Congress of Mathematicians and was just recently named as a 2023 Fellow of the AMS.
Nina Holden, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has been awarded the 2023 Rollo Davidson Prize for her "leading work on random planar maps and Liouville quantum gravity" alongside University of Pennsylvania's Xin Sun. Distributed by the University of Cambridge, the Rollo Davidson Trust has been awarding an annual Prize to young probabilists since 1976. You can read more about this honor here.
Sylvia Serfaty, Silver Professor of Mathematics, was recently announced at the recipient of an NSF Award to fund her team's research on "Many-particle Systems with Singular Interactions: Statistical Mechanics and Mean-field Dynamics." Among its stated goals, the project aims to advance the theoretical understanding of phase transitions between states of matter.
Fang-Hua Lin, Silver Professor of Mathematics, received funding from the National Science Foundation for his team's research project "Hydrodynamics of Liquid Crystals and Heat Flow of Harmonic Maps." The project is attempting to solve several challenging problems from the theory of liquid crystals and study concrete problems related to the heat flow of harmonic maps.
Congratulations to Professor Serfaty, Professor Lin, and their research teams!
Jonathan Niles-Weed, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Data Science, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Tweedie New Researcher Award by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Professor Niles-Weed was selected for his work “driving the development of statistical optimal transport and expanding the boundaries of statistics to problems with a geometric structure by drawing connections with probability, analysis, and computation.”
He will present the Tweedie New Researcher Invited Lecture at the IMS New Researchers Conference, which will take place in Toronto this coming August. Congratulations to Professor Niles-Weed on his impressive accomplishment!
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, current Professor of Mathematics and former Director of Courant, has been awarded the 2023 Padma Vibhusan medal. Announced on Republic Day each January 26th, the Padma Vibhusan is the second-highest civilian award in the Republic of India. Professor Varadhan is being honored for his "exceptional and distinguished service" to the fields of science and technology. The medal will be conferred at a ceremony later this year.
Professor Varadhan is one of the most influential mathematicians of the past century. He recieved the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama in 2010. He has also been awarded the Birkhoff Prize, the Abel Prize, and the Leroy P. Steele Prize. Professor Varadhan has been affliated with the Courant Institute since 1963, when he arrived as a postdoctural fellow. He served two appointments as Director of Courant, from 1980-1984 and 1992-94. Congratulations to Raghu!
Gérard Ben Arous, Silver Professor of Mathematics, has received the NeurIPS 2022 Outstanding Paper Award for his work on "High-dimensional limit theorems for SGD: Effective dynamics and critical scaling"—published in collaboration with former Courant affiliates Reza Gheissari (Northwestern University) and Aukosh Jagannath (University of Waterloo).
Founded in 1987, the NeurIPS conference and a multi-track interdisciplinary annual meeting that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia, and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. You can learn more about the NeurIPS 2022 Awards here. And you can read the winning paper here.
Congratulations to Professor Ben Arous, his co-authors, and all the honorees!
After a six year competition, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has chosen the first group of encryption tools designed to withstand the assault of a future quantum computer, which could potentially crack the security used to protect privacy in our current digital systems.
In the general encription category, the winning algorithm was the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm, which relies upon the influential research of Courant's Oded Regev.
“NIST constantly looks to the future to anticipate the needs of U.S. industry and society as a whole, and when they are built, quantum computers powerful enough to break present-day encryption will pose a serious threat to our information systems,” said Laurie E. Locascio, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director. “Our post-quantum cryptography program has leveraged the top minds in cryptography worldwide to produce this first group of quantum-resistant algorithms that will lead to a standard and significantly increase the security of our digital information.”
Courant faculty Jonathan Niles-Weed has been elected as a 2022 Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowship honors "early-career scholars who represent the most promising researchers working today."
His main areas of study are statistics, probability, and the mathematics of data science, with a focus on statistical and computational problems arising from data with geometric structure. Much of his recent work is dedicated to developing a statistical theory of optimal transport.
A full list of the 2022 Sloan Research Fellows can be found on their website.
Marco was on the faculty of NYU Courant for almost 40 years, starting as a Courant Instructor in 1985. After his early work on applied math, he spent most of his career working on mathematical finance. Marco was a tremendously creative and energetic person and we will greatly miss him. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Marco's wife, Cassandra Richmond.
Further information is available here.
Jeff Cheeger has been awarded the 2021 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences for his "remarkable insights that have transformed, and continue to transform, modern geometry."
For more information, read the press release here.
Please click here to read more about Andy.
Please click here to read more about Jerry.
For further information see the official announcement.
Jeff is one of six distinguished scholars who will receive the honorary degree in 2021. Further information can be found here.
February 28, 1925 - January 26, 2020
Plans for a memorial are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation.
To read about Louis' outstanding life and career, click here.
Professors Sylvia Serfaty, Michael Shelley, and Ofer Zeitouni have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AMACAD). For more information, please see the press release from the Academy. Congratulations!
Marsha Berger, Silver Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, will be awarded the 2019 Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics.
The citation notes that Marsha is being recognized for her "fundamental contributions to adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) and to Cartesian mesh techniques for automating the simulation of compressible flows in complex geometry."
Presented jointly by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (AMS), the Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics is awarded every three years for an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense.
Marsha is a frequent visitor to NASA Ames, where she has spent every summer since 1990, and several sabbaticals. Her honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Berger was a recipient of the IEEE Fernbach award, and was part of the team that won the 2002 Software of the Year Award from NASA for its Cart3D software.
Silver Professor of Mathematics, Jeff Cheeger, has received the 2019 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement for his fundamental contributions to geometric analysis and their far-reaching influence on related areas of mathematics. Congratulations, Jeff!
See the announcement from the American Mathematical Society for more about Jeff's award.
Percy Deift has been honored for his "seminal contributions to Schroedinger operators, inverse scattering theory, nonlinear waves, asymptotic analysis of Fredholm and Toeplitz determinants, universality in random matrix theory, and his deep analysis of integrable models." Congratulations, Percy!
For further information, please see the official Henri Poincaré Prize page.
Congratulations to Sylvia Serfaty on being named a 2018 Simons Investigator!
For further information, please see the list of Simons Investigator awardees.
Awarded annually since 1955, the Sloan Research Fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars among the next generation of scientific leaders. Miranda and Afonso are among 126 American and Canadian researchers receiving the award this year.
The mathematics department is happy to announce the successful creation of a new Research and Training Group (RTG) in Mathematical Modeling and Simulation, a five-year vertically-integrated research activity funded by the National Science Foundation (award DMS-1646339) since the Fall of 2017. This RTG is devoted to training through research of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in several salient aspects of modern applied mathematics, and will emphasize the connections among modeling, simulation and experimental observation.
Sylvia Serfaty has been named a Silver Professor. Congratulations!
Nader Masmoudi has been awarded the 2017 Fermat Prize by the Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse for "his very deep and creative work in the field of nonlinear partial differential equations." Congratulations!
Anya Katsevich, a first year doctoral candidate at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) to support her Applied Mathematics research.
Katsevich, from Oviedo, Florida, received her bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Less than 5 percent of applicants are chosen for the fellowship each year.
The DOE CSGF, administered by the Krell Institute of Ames, Iowa, is funded by the DOE's Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Each year, the program grants fellowships to support doctoral students whose education and research focus on using high-performance computers to solve complex science and engineering problems of national importance. Since it was launched in 1991, the DOE CSGF has supported 436 students at more than 65 universities.
DOE CSGF students receive full tuition and fees plus an annual stipend and academic allowance, renewable for up to four years. In return, recipients must complete courses in a scientific or engineering discipline plus computer science and applied mathematics. They also must do a three-month research practicum at one of 21 DOE laboratories or sites across the country.
Katsevich joins a group of 20 first-year fellows in 2017, bringing the total number of current DOE CSGF recipients to 79 students in 14 states.
The fellowship and related practicum experiences are effective workforce recruitment tools for the national laboratories. Nearly a quarter of all DOE CSGF alumni currently work or have worked in a DOE lab setting. Others pursue careers in academia, industry or government, where they introduce and advocate for computational science as a tool for discovery.
For more information on the DOE CSGF, contact the Krell Institute at 515-956-3696 or visit http://www.krellinst.org/csgf.
Cathleen Synge Morawetz died on August 8, 2017. She was 94 years old.
Cathleen was a leading mathematician who made fundamental and lasting contributions in the field of partial differential equations. She worked on a wide range of problems, making seminal contributions to transonic flow and scattering theory among other topics. In 1956 she solved what was then an engineering mystery, by showing that there is no airfoil design that robustly eliminates shocks at supersonic speeds. In the 60s and 70s she studied the scattering of waves by obstacles and nonlinear scattering theory. The techniques she introduced -- now known as "Morawetz inequalities" and "Morawetz estimates" -- are flexible and widely applicable; as a result, her work has strongly influenced many areas where wave propagation is important, including fluid dynamics and general relativity.
Cathleen was born in Toronto in 1923 to John L. Synge, a distinguished Irish physicist and mathematician, and Eleanor Allen. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1945, received a master's degree in 1946 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D in 1951 at New York University, under the supervision of Kurt O. Friedrichs. After spending a year at MIT, Cathleen joined NYU's Institute for Mathematics and Mechanics (the precursor of today's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) in 1952 as a Research Associate, and after five years became an Assistant Professor. She remained at NYU throughout her career, and was Director of the Courant Institute from 1984 to 1988 -- the first and only woman Director. She was proud to serve as a role model for generations of young mathematicians.
In addition to her academic positions, Cathleen served as President of the American Mathematical Society 1995-7; was a trustee for the American Mathematical Society, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Princeton University; and served on numerous advisory committees or boards of organizations including the JSTOR Consortium, the NYC Mayor's Commission on Science and Technology, the NCR Corporation, the National Research Council, and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies' School of Theoretical Physics.
Cathleen began her research on transonic flow while she was a Research Associate at NYU. In a series of three celebrated papers in the 1950s, she established that shock free flows about profiles are exceptional in the sense that perturbations of the profile shape or upstream velocity of a shockless flow will result in shock formation. This work also provided important tools for the study of mixed type PDE including ingenious energy estimates and maximum principles for auxiliary functions related to invariances in the equations. Cathleen also explored techniques for producing transonic flows with mild shocks, including artificial viscosity approaches combined with compensated compactness in the 1980s; this entailed finding appropriate entropy pairs and obtaining uniform estimates for small viscosity. In addition, Cathleen opened the door to constructing rich families of shockless 2-D flows by obtaining well posedness for weak solutions of the Dirichlet problem for Tricomi type equations, with a first breakthrough in 1970 and robust refinements some 30 years later.
During the 60s and 70s Cathleen became interested in scattering problems. One focus was the scattering of waves by obstacles, where she proved local energy decay for star-shaped obstacles. The proof was based upon ingenious energy identities, totally different from the usual energy identities of mathematical physics. These identities have been central to modern theories of hyperbolic and mixed-type partial differential equations. This work and subsequent research on nonlinear scattering theory led to a whole series of "Morawetz inequalities" and "Morawetz estimates", both of which refer to a general procedure for proving local energy decay of solutions to a large class of dispersive equations. The applicability of this procedure to a wide range of problems has made Cathleen's work very influential in the study of nonlinear waves, including general relativity.
Cathleen received many honors and awards, including honorary degrees from New York University (2007), the University of Toronto (1996), the University of Dublin (1996), the University of Waterloo (1993), Duke University (1988), New Jersey Institute of Technology (1988), Princeton University (1986), Brown University (1982), Smith College (1980), and Eastern Michigan University (1980). She was elected Fellow of the American mathematical Society (2012), SIAM Fellow (2009), Fellow of the American Philosophical Society (1997); Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1996); Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1990); Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984); and she held Guggenheim Fellowships twice, in 1966-7 and 1978-9.
In 1998 Cathleen received the National Medal of Science. Her other awards include the American Mathematical Society's Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2004), and its George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics (2006).
She is survived by her husband Herbert; her sister Isabel; her children John, Lida, Nancy, and Pegeen; 10 grandchildren and step-granchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren.
Additional information about Cathleen, including video, is available at the Simons Foundation "Science Lives" website.
As of September 1, 2017 the Mathematics faculty at the Tandon School of Engineering will join the Department of Mathematics in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The Courant math department will be the math department for both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Tandon School of Engineering. The department will be responsible for mathematics classes across the university.
We expect that this merger will foster many new academic collaborations between faculty in engineering and the mathematical sciences.
The department will now offer two undergraduate degrees -- a BA in Mathematics (offered to the students in the College of Arts and Sciences) and a BS in Mathematics (offered to students in the Tandon School of Engineering). The coursework for the BS degree will cover a wide range of mathematical topics and will require students to specify a component in one field of engineering. In addition, as a result of the merger, the Courant Mathematics Department is considering developing an MS degree in Engineering Mathematics as an addition to its rich array of graduate programs.
Joel Spencer has been named a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics for "contributions to discrete mathematics and theory of computing, particularly random graphs and networks, Ramsey theory, logic, and randomized algorithms." Congratulations!
Eyal Lubetzky is the recipient of the prestigious AMS Centennial Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year. The fellowship is awarded to outstanding young mathematicians for excellence in research achievement. Click here for further information from the AMS. Congratulations, Eyal!
Eyal Lubetzky has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Fellowships are awarded to IMS members in honor of their outstanding research and professional contributions in the fields of statistics and probability.
Eyal's election will be celebrated in July at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony, during the World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Toronto.
Leslie Greengard has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Warm congratulations to you, Leslie!