Richard James wins the Theodore von Kármán prize from SIAM
Professor Richard James receives the Theodore von Kármán Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). This prize, awarded once every 5 years, celebrates a "notable application of mathematics to mechanics and/or the engineering sciences made during the five to ten years preceding the award". James shares the award with Weinan E from Princeton University. The prize will be awarded on Tuesday, July 8, at the SIAM annual meeting in Chicago.
Theodore von Kármán was a Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization. Craters on Mars and the moon are even named in his honor. The von Kármán Prize was established in 1968. Notable previous winners include Sir G. I. Taylor, George Carrier, Joe and Herb Keller, John Ball and Mary Wheeler.
"Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was." - Theodore von Kármán
The award citation reads, "Dick and Weinan define, at the highest level, the full spectrum on how applied (and nonetheless rigorous) analysis is inspired by and contributes to material science. James is inspired by (his own) experiments and goes the path from rational mechanics, via the calculus of variations, deep into elliptic regularity theory and back. E is inspired by recent computational approaches in physics and chemistry, seeking a deeper mathematical understanding of quantum and statistical mechanics, which leads him to profound insights into multi-scale aspects of partial differential equations. James is an engineer, E close to physics; James's work gravitates around experiments, E's work around computing. Although both get their inspiration from the same source, namely materials science, their approaches, methods, and styles are quite complimentary."
Professor James will deliver the Theodore von Kármán Prize lecture on Friday, July 11, from 3:00-3:30 p.m., in the Grand Ballroom of The Palmer House in Chicago. The title of his lecture is "Materials from Mathematics."