Stephen Smale Prize

The first Stephen Smale Prize was awarded at the FoCM'11 meeting in
Budapest on July 14th, 2011 to

Snorre H. Christiansen

The winner received a "Gömböc" as the prize. More about the Gömböc is here.

About the prize winner:

Professor Snorre Christiansen, University of Oslo, Norway, received the Smale prize for his pioneering work on the foundation of computational mathematics. Christiansen is an original and insightful researcher working on computational problems at the interface between pure and applied mathematics. Most of his work is motivated by the design of numerical methods for various equations arising in physics, and he has made substantial contributions to a number of key areas related to modern scientific computing. In particular, we will mention his use of Calderon’s formulas to construct preconditioners for the electric field equations, his contributions to the development of finite element exterior calculus, and his convergence results for lattice gauge theory. Through his work Christiansen has given many examples on how various topics from pure mathematics, such as homological algebra and algebraic topology, can be used as crucial tools for developing and understanding computational procedures.


Press release (in Hungarian):

MTV News (hirado.hu) with video footage here or here (starting near 6:40 minutes)


Index.hu online news here


Népszabadság (nol.hu) online news here


sg.hu online news on Informatics and Science here


e-Népújság.ro Romanian online news here

Background on the Smale Prize:
The Society for the Foundations of Computational Mathematics
(www.focm.net) was created in the summer of 1995, following the month-long meeting in Park City, Utah, which was principally organized by Steve Smale. The Park City meeting aimed, in Smale’s words from the preliminary announcement, “... to strengthen the unity of mathematics and numerical analysis, and to narrow the gap between pure and applied mathematics." Smale’s vision has been the Society’s inspiration these past 15 years. During this period the journal ’Foundations of Computational Mathematics’ was created, several colloquia and research semesters were organized and six international conferences were held in what has become a triennial series. The Budapest meeting in 2011 will be the seventh. After fifteen years of existence, with an established and recognized position in the scientific community, the Society has created the “Stephen Smale Prize" whose objective is to recognize the work of a young mathematician in the areas at the heart of the society’s interests and to help to promote his or her integration among the leaders of the scientific community. The first Stephen Smale Prize was awarded at the Budapest meeting.

Summary of prize rules:
The goal of the Smale Prize is to recognize major achievements in furthering the understanding of the connections between mathematics and computation, including the interfaces between pure and applied mathematics, numerical analysis and computer science.

  • To be eligible for the prize a candidate must be in his or her early to mid career, meaning, typically, removed by at most 10 years of his/her (first) doctoral degree by the last day of the FoCM meeting (July 14, 2011). Allowances might be made for atypical life circumstances.

  • Eligible candidates should be nominated (self-nominations excluded) by sending an email to the secretary of FoCM, Hans Munthe-Kaas, hans@math.uib.no no later than October 3, 2010. Each nomination should be accompanied by a brief case for support.

  • There is no compulsory format for the nomination but it should include at least three letters of recommendation.

  • The recipient of the prize will be expected to give a lecture at the meeting. A written version of this lecture (tagged as the Smale Prize Lecture) will be included in the volume of plenary talks.

Full announcement of the Smale prize is here.