American Academy of Arts & Sciences Elects New Members

June 12, 2006

Several mathematical and computational scientists, including SIAM president Martin Golubitsky, were in good company on their recent election to the 2006 class of fellows and honorary members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. (The connections with other items in SIAM News are serendipitous, as is the marked alliteration on this page.)

Two of the other mathematicians elected are from NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: Jeff Cheeger and Charles Newman; Newman steps down this year as director of Courant, to be succeeded in September by Leslie Greengard (see Career on the Fast Track). David Eisenbud, director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley (also stepping down once a successor has been named), is part of the group of directors of NSF mathematics institutes whose activities are briefly described in Math Institutes Inaugurate Joint Web Site.

Also representing the mathematical and computational science communities among the 175 new members are mathematicians Robert Lazarsfeld of the University of Michigan, and Craig Tracy (University of California, Davis) and Harold Widom (UC Santa Cruz); readers might remember a previous honor bestowed on the Tracy–Widom team: the 2002 George Pólya Prize, which they received at SIAM's 50th-anniversary meeting, for their work on random matrices. Elected to the "computer sciences" section of the American Academy are Leonard Adleman of the University of Southern California and David Patterson of UC Berkeley; a new member in the chemistry section is J. Andrew McCammon, a frequent speaker at SIAM conferences; elected as a microbiologist is George Oster of UC Berkeley, whose work on bacterial motion has been described in SIAM News.

"Good company" is subjective, and the following list of new American Academy members from outside the sciences is admittedly arbitrary. To begin, SIAM's president is joined by two former U.S. presidents: Bill Clinton and the first President Bush, as well as by the current chief justice of the U.S., John Roberts. The actor and director Martin Scorsese seems to warrant a mention in this movie-related issue of SIAM News. Rita Dove, former poet laureate of the U.S. (whose interest in mathematics emerges clearly in many of her poems), is a new member, as is David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. New foreign associates include the British op art painter Bridget Riley and the Irish novelist, playwright, and short story writer William Trevor.

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