SIAG/DS Invites Nominations for New Prizes in Memory of J. Moser and J. D. Crawford

September 17, 2000

Jürgen Moser

In memory of two recently deceased colleagues---Jürgen Moser and John David Crawford---the SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems has established new prizes for meritorious work in the broad area of dynamical systems and nonlinear science, which includes theory and applications, as well as experiments and computations/simulations. The prizes will be awarded for the first time at the 2001 Snowbird meeting (May 20-24) and then every other year, at the SIAG/DS meeting.

One of the new prizes, the Moser Lecture Prize, will recognize distinguished contributions in dynamical systems and nonlinear science over the course of the recipient's career. The prize is named for Jürgen Moser (1928-99), the "M" of KAM (Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser) theory. After receiving his doctorate from Göttingen in 1952, Moser spent most of his career at the Courant Institute (1953-54, 55-57, 60-80) and ETH-Zurich (1980-95). Possessing a unified view of mathematicics and its connections with other branches of science, especially astronomy and physics, Moser made deep and influential contributions to an exceptionally wide range of topics, including celestial mechanics, dynamical systems, partial differential equations, nonlinear functional analysis, complex
geometry, and the calculus of variations.

Moser received many honors and awards for his achievements, including the first AMS-SIAM George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics (1968) and the Wolf Prize (1995). A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of several national academies, he was president of the IMU (1983-86) and gave three invited addresses at IMU congresses. Among his other invited lectures were the AMS Gibbs Lecture (1973) and the Pauli Lectures (ETH, 1975); in 1984, cited for "fundamental contributions, conceptually and technically, to our understanding of the behavior of dynamical systems" and for "analytic methods of great power that have become among the most useful modern techniques in mathematics itself and in applications to physical systems," he gave The John von Neumann Lecture at SIAM's annual meeting in Seattle.

The prize named for John David Crawford, who died in 1998 at the age of 44, will be given for recent outstanding work in dynamical systems and nonlinear science, specifically for papers published in English in peer-reviewed journals during the four-year period preceding the date of the award. Crawford's own research, wrote his colleague Edgar Knobloch, "ranged from the physics of collisionless plasmas to the mathematics of pattern formation," with a "common thread: understanding the development and equilibration of instabilities in diverse systems, be they Hamiltonian or dissipative." Crawford was "a consummate scholar," Knobloch said, "devoted to deep understanding of important and challenging problems. His solutions to these problems were always innovative, offering fresh perspective. . . ."

John David Crawford

Both prize committees have tight schedules. The deadlines for nominations are October 2 for the Moser Lecture and October 16 for the Crawford Prize; the committee chairs are John Guckenheimer of Cornell University and Christopher K.R.T. Jones of Brown University, respectively.

As established, the prizes do not provide cash awards (although the Moser Lecturer will receive a $500 honorarium). Hoping to raise a $10,000 fund for each prize so that a cash prize of at least $1000 can be awarded to each recipient, SIAG/DS is soliciting contributions (addressed to The Moser Lecture Fund or The J. D. Crawford Prize Fund, Attn: Michelle Montgomery, SIAM, 3600 University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2688).

Additional information about the activity group and both prizes can be found at

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