Saving the Planet from a Mathematical Perspective: Ecologist and Princeton Professor Simon Levin Selected Speaker for I.E. Block Community Lecture at SIAM Annual Meeting

July 20, 2006

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics selected Simon Levin as honored speaker for the I.E. Block Community Lecture at their annual meeting which was held in Boston from July 10–14, 2006. This free lecture, instituted in 1995, encourages public appreciation of the excitement and vitality of applied mathematics by reaching out as broadly as possible to students, teachers, and members of the local community, as well as to SIAM members, researchers, and practitioners in fields related to applied and computational mathematics. The lecture is open to the public and is named in honor of I. Edward Block, a founder of SIAM who served as its Managing Director for nearly 20 years. Dr. Levin's lecture was titled, "Individual Choices, Cooperation and the Global Commons: Mathematical Challenges in Uniting Ecology and Socioeconomics for a Sustainable Environment."

Professor Simon Levin is a theoretical ecologist who examines the dynamics of populations and communities; spatial heterogeneity and problems of scale; evolutionary ecology; and the application of ecological principles to achieving a sustainable future for humanity. He is especially interested in the self-organization of ecosystems from individual interactions, and in the interface between ecology and economics.

Levin received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1964 and joined the faculty of Cornell University. In 1985, he was appointed the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences at Cornell. In 1992, he joined the faculty of Princeton University as the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology. He is the founding director of the Princeton Environmental Institute. He is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow

of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards, most recently in 2005, receiving the prestigious Kyoto Prize awarded by the Inamori Foundation.

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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