Stanford's George Papanicolaou selected speaker for the John von Neumann Lecture

Dr. Papanicolaou was selected as this year's John von Neumann lecturer at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Annual Meeting held in Boston, July 1014, 2006. The prize, established in 1959, is in the form of an honorarium for an invited lecture. The lecture includes a survey and evaluation of a significant and useful contribution to mathematics and its applications. It may be awarded to a mathematician or to a scientist in another field, but, in either case, the recipient should be one who has made distinguished contributions to pure and/or applied mathematics.

Professor Papanicolaou was chosen lecturer in recognition of his wide-ranging development of penetrating analytic and stochastic methods and their application to a broad range of phenomena in the physical, geophysical, and financial sciences. Specifically, his research on imaging and time reversal in random media, on financial mathematics, and on nonlinear PDEs has been significant and influential. Dr. Papanicolaou's lecture was titled "Imaging in Random Media."

George Papanicolaou received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, in 1969 and joined the faculty of the Courant Institute. In 1993, he joined the faculty of Stanford University, and, in 1997, he was appointed the Robert Grimmett Professor of Mathematics. He has received an Alfred Sloan Fellowship and a John Guggenheim Fellowship and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His research interests include waves and diffusion in inhomogeneous or random media and in the mathematical analysis of multi-scale phenomena that arise in their study, along with their application to electromagnetic wave propagation in the atmosphere, underwater sound, waves in the lithosphere, diffusion in porous media and, more recently, multi-path effects in communication systems. He also is interested in asymptotics for stochastic equations in analyzing financial markets and in data analysis.


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, 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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