Bernd Sturmfels of UC-Berkeley was awarded The John von Neumann Lecture at SIAM Annual Meeting

August 11, 2010

SIAM's flagship lecture, The John von Neumann Lecture, was established in 1959 to reward outstanding contributions to the field of applied mathematical sciences and their effective communication to the community. The awardee receives a $5,000 monetary award and an invitation to deliver a lecture, which fittingly, surveys a significant contribution to mathematics and its applications. The award is given in recognition of the pioneering work of the Hungarian-American mathematician, John von Neumann, in wide-ranging areas of applied mathematics.

Professor Bernd Sturmfels from the University of California, Berkeley (UC-Berkeley), gave The John von Neumann Lecture at the 2010 SIAM Annual Meeting held July 12-16, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The prize was awarded to him for his role in using algebraic and algebraic-geometric ideas toward the application of problems in biology, statistics, optimization, and the numerical computation of polynomial systems.

Sturmfels received his doctoral degrees from the University of Washington, Seattle, and the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany in 1987. He is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and an affiliate professor in the Center for Computational Biology (CCB) at UC-Berkeley. He is also the current Vice President of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and serves on the advisory panel of SIAM's newest activity group, the SIAM Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry. His research interests span algebraic methods in geometry, convex optimization, statistics, and computational molecular biology.

Sturmfels received the award at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, July 13. His lecture, which was delivered immediately following the luncheon, discussed recent applications of abstract algebra in modeling and the solving of nonlinear problems in various areas of mathematical sciences.

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