Media Release – January 19, 2021
Canadian Mathematical Society

Dr. Anita Layton to receive the 2021 Krieger-Nelson Prize

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Anita Layton (University of Waterloo) has been named the recipient of the 2021 Krieger-Nelson Prize for her exceptional contributions to mathematical research with applications ranging from fluid dynamics to biology and medicine. Dr. Layton will receive her award and present a prize lecture during the CMS Summer Meeting in June 2021.

After earning a PhD in Computer Science from University of Toronto, Dr. Layton has built an impressive academic career with accomplishments throughout applied mathematics and the sciences. She was a long-time faculty member at Duke University where she held the Robert R. and Katherine B. Penn Professorship of Mathematics. Recently she moved to the University of Waterloo as a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and Medicine.

Dr. Layton has been recognized as a distinguished figure in the applied mathematics research at the interface of mathematical computation and biomedical sciences with direct impact in clinical health care. She is the author of over 170 publications that include top journals in applied mathematics, physiology, and medicine.

In addition to Dr. Layton’s ground breaking work in mathematical biology, she has also published many impactful and well-cited studies in computational fluid dynamics; in particular, computational methods for fluid-structure interaction problems.  Here, a deformable object is immersed in an incompressible fluid so that the object moves with the fluid and also exerts forces on it. These problems are notoriously hard to solve, both analytically and computationally. Dr. Layton has been at the forefront of studying and developing numerical methods which preserve the sharp fluid-boundary interface. For example, with then colleague Tom Beale, she was the first to present a rigorous analysis of the immersed interface method of Li and LeVeque.

Dr. Layton’s expertise on systems of nonlinear advection-diffusion equations coupled with algebraic equations has, in part, furnished her long-standing program of research on kidney function, and specifically on the kidney’s ability to concentrate salt and other products in the outflow. Here she has addressed important problems in physiology and medicine, and corrected several misconceptions about kidney function that have plagued the textbooks for years. By working with renal physiologists, Layton was able to develop a model of fluid and solute exchange in the kidney that accounts for its concentrating ability. She developed a fast numerical solver that proved to be vital as it allowed for parameter sensitivity studies that are based on many repetitions of otherwise time-consuming and costly simulations.

It is worth noting that Dr. Layton’s work has inspired new experimental and clinical studies in the area of renal physiology and associated medical care. Her work has also highlighted the importance of sex differences in mathematical models for biological systems.
Overall, Dr. Layton is an outstanding applied mathematician whose impact is vast and truly interdisciplinary. The CMS is proud to award her the 2021 Krieger-Nelson Prize.

About the Krieger-Nelson Prize
The Krieger-Nelson Prize, jointly named for Cecilia Krieger and Evelyn Nelson was first awarded in 1995. It was inaugurated to recognize outstanding contributions in the area of mathematical research by a female mathematician.
For information about past recipients visit:

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)
The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Victor LeBlanc (UOttawa)
Chair, CMS Research Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Prof. Javad Mashreghi (Laval)
Canadian Mathematical Society