George F. Lawler, Oded Schramm and Wendelin Werner receive George Polya Prize in Boston

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' George Polya Prize was awarded to Gregory F. Lawler of Cornell University, Oded Schramm of Microsoft Corporation and Wendelin Werner of Université Paris-Sud at SIAM's Annual Meeting in Boston, July 10–14, 2006. The prize was established in 1969 and is given every two years, alternatively in two categories. One is a notable application of combinatorial theory. The other is for a notable contribution in another area of interest to George Polya such as approximation theory, complex analysis, number theory, orthogonal polynomials, probability theory, or mathematical discovery and learning. In 2006, the George Polya Prize is given for a notable contribution in another area of interest to George Polya.

Lawler, Schramm and Werner received the prize for their groundbreaking work on the development and application of stochastic Loewner evolution (SLE). Of particular note is the rigorous establishment of the existence and conformal invariance of critical scaling limits of a number of 2D lattice models arising in statistical physics.

Gregory F. Lawler received his B.A. from University of Virginia in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1979. He went to Duke University in 1979, where he was named A. Hollis Edens Professor of Mathematics in 2001. Also, in 2001, he became Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University and this fall will start a new position as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago. His research interests are random walk and Brownian motion with a particular emphasis on processes with strong interactions arising in statistical physics.

Oded Schramm is a principal researcher working at Microsoft Research. He earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mathematics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his Ph.D. in mathematics at Princeton University (advisor W. P. Thurston). After a two-year appointment at the UCSD, he returned to Israel to work at the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1999, he joined Microsoft Research at Redmond, Washington. He is the recipient of the Anna and Lajos Erdös Prize in Mathematics, the Salem Prize, Clay Research Award, Henri Poincaré Prize, and the Loeve Prize. Dr. Schramm's research interests include conformal mappings and probability.

Wendelin Werner is Professor of Mathematics at the Université Paris-Sud. He completed his Ph.D. at Université Paris VI under the supervisioin of Jean-Francois Le Gall. His research interests lie in probability theory and especially in two-dimensional structures. For his research, he has received prizes from the French Academy of Sciences, from the European Mathematical Society, as well as the Rollo Davidson, Fermat and Loeve prizes.


The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) was founded in 1952 to support and encourage the important industrial role that applied mathematics and computational science play in advancing science and technology. Along with publishing top-rated journals, books, and SIAM News, SIAM holds about 12 conferences per year. There are also currently 45 SIAM Student Chapters and 15 SIAM Activity Groups.

SIAM's 2006 Annual Meeting themes included dynamical systems, industrial problems, mathematical biology, numerical analysis, orthogonal polynomials and partial differential equations.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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