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MEDIA RELEASE
March 3, 2004

FOUR HONOURED FOR OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS

The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) has selected Barbara Keyfitz (Houston) as the recipient of the 2005 Krieger-Nelson Prize, Edward Bierstone (Toronto) and Pierre Milman (Toronto) as the winners of the 2005 Jeffery-Williams Prize and Izabella Laba (UBC) as the winner of the 2004 Coxeter-James Prize.


CMS 2005 Krieger-Nelson Prize: Dr. Barbara Keyfitz (University of Houston)

The Krieger-Nelson Prize recognizes outstanding research by a female mathematician.

Dr. Barbara Keyfitz has made deep and original contributions in the field of nonlinear partial differential equations, with particular emphasis on hyperbolic systems of conservation laws and evolution equations that change type. Such systems arise in models for multiphase flow in porous media, and in two-phase compressible and incompressible flow.

Several times during her career, she had a pioneering role in tackling the most challenging problems in the field, and she opened up a new research direction when she developed a powerful new technique dealing with free boundary problems to further the understanding of transonic shocks.

Keyfitz studied also bifurcation problems in reaction-diffusion equations, especially in the theory of shock waves. She succeeded in adapting techniques from vector field dynamics to the problem of the admissibility of shock waves, a long-lasting question in applied mathematics.

With Suncica Canic and Eun Heui Kim, she is currently working on the analysis of self-similar solutions of systems of conservation laws in two space dimensions.

Professor Keyfitz graduated from the University of Toronto in 1966 and obtained her Ph.D. under Peter Lax at the Courant Institute in 1970. She held positions at Columbia University, Princeton University, and Arizona State University, and is currently the John and Rebecca Moores Professor at the University of Houston. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been and continues to be a member of the editorial boards of many mathematical journals, including the SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics.

Dr. Keyfitz has been a thesis advisor, postdoctoral advisor, and collaborator for a whole generation of mathematicians and continues to play an important role in promoting mathematics and helping young mathematicians worldwide. She has remained involved in Canadian mathematics, not only as a regular participant in conferences, but also supporting Canadian research as external reviewer for departments, as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel at the Fields Institute, the NSERC Reallocations Committee, and the college of reviewers for the Canada Research Chairs program.

Dr. Barbara Keyfitz will present the 2005 Krieger-Nelson Prize Lecture at Waterloo University in June 2005.


CMS 2005 Jeffery-Williams Prize:   Dr. Edward Bierstone and Dr. Pierre Milman (University of Toronto)

The Jeffery-Williams Prize recognizes mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research.

Dr. Edward Bierstone and Dr. Pierre Milman are honoured jointly for their highly significant work in the study of analytic and geometric properties of singular spaces.

Together, they found an amazingly short and ingenious proof of Hironaka's theorem on resolution of singularities, transforming that result from a monument to be admired to a tool to be used, bringing a new dimension of understanding and accessibility to the resolution process, at the same time extending it, and its applications, to a considerably wider range of spaces.

Jointly with Wieslaw Pawlucki, they achieved as well important progress on the classical open problem posed by Whitney about differentiable extensions of functions from subsets to the ambient space.

Dr.'s Bierstone and Milman have also made crucial contributions to the geometry of sub- and semi-analytic sets, exploring their relationship to differentiable functions. Their methods are expected to continue to reveal new and significant features of singular spaces.

Dr. Edward Bierstone obtained his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1969 and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1973, under the direction of Richard S. Palais. He returned to the University of Toronto as a faculty member in 1973 and has been a Professor there since 1982.

Dr. Bierstone has been a member of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Bures-sur-Yvette, France, a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, and a visiting professor in Brazil and France. In 1992, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 1996 he won the Outstanding Teaching Award of the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto, and in 2002 he was appointed a Fellow of the Fields Institute. He has also served as chair and member of an NSERC Grant Selection Committee and as chair of the Nominations Committee for the NSERC Reallocations Steering Committee for Mathematics.

Dr. Pierre Milman graduated with a B.A. from the University of Moscow in1967 and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tel- Aviv in 1975, after an interlude of several years as Researcher at the Institute of Chemical Physics and then Solid State Physics in Moscow.

In 1975, he came to the University of Toronto as Lecturer and Research Associate, and after holding a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Purdue University from 1978 to 1980, he returned to the University of Toronto, first as an NSERC University Research Fellow until 1985, then as Associate Professor and, since 1986, as Professor.

In 1997, Dr. Milman was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2000 he was awarded a Killam Research Fellowship.

The 2005 Jeffery-Williams Prize Lecture will be given at the CMS Summer Meeting, hosted by Waterloo University in June 2005.


CMS 2004 Coxeter-James Prize: Dr. Izabella Laba (University of British Columbia)

The Coxeter-James Prize recognizes young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research.

Dr. Izabella Laba is an outstanding young analyst with research interests in Harmonic Analysis, Combinatorics and Mathematical Physics. Her work spans a broad spectrum from pseudo-differential calculus to Szemerédi's theorem, with major contributions to quantum scattering theory and geometric combinatorics.

In her Ph.D. thesis, Laba made significant contributions to the theory of N-particle scattering in a constant magnetic field, addressing the issue of asymptotic completeness for various Hamiltonians and decaying potentials in the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. She continued this work jointly with Christian Gérard and they presented these results in a monograph in 2002.

A second thread in Laba's work concerns the Kakeya conjecture on Hausdorff and Minkowski dimension of Besicovitch sets. Her joint work with Nets Katz and Terence Tao is hailed as a breakthrough, surmounting a natural barrier to improving earlier lower bounds by Thomas Wolff and Jean Bourgain.

Her current research deals with questions in combinatorial number theory and measure theory, constructing, with Michael T. Lacey, "large" sets of integers without k-progression, and working, with Mihail N. Kolountzakis, on periodic tilings and spectral domains in Euclidean space.

Dr. Izabella Laba obtained an M.Sc from Wroclaw University, Poland, in 1986. After three years as a Research Teaching Assistant at Wroclaw University, she attended the University of Toronto and obtained her Ph.D. under the direction of Israel Michael Sigal in 1994. Her thesis dealt with "N-particle Scattering in Constant Magnetic Fields".

She held a Hedrick Assistant Professorship at the University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA, from 1994 to 1997 and an Assistant Professorship at Princeton University from 1997 until 2000. In July 2000, she joined the University of British Columbia as an Associate Professor and was granted tenure there two years later.

Dr. Izabella Laba will present the 2004 Coxeter-James Prize Lecture at the CMS Winter Meeting, hosted by McGill University, in December 2004.


For more information contact:

Dr. Christiane Rousseau, President
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (514) 343-7729
Email: president@cms.math.ca
  or   Dr. Graham P. Wright, Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Email: director@cms.math.ca

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