SIAM'S Prize Policy

SIAM awards prizes to increase the prestige of applied mathematics, to draw attention to it, to encourage research of high quality in it, and to honor those who make outstanding contributions towards these ends.

The number of different prizes, and the frequency of award of each prize, shall be such that each award can receive suitable publicity and each prize winner can be given a well-publicized opportunity to lecture on the work for which the prize is awarded.

SIAM is currently awarding the following prizes: Richard C. DiPrima Prize; George Polya Prize; W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize; SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra Prize; SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Prize; SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling; SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession; SIAM Student Paper Prize; SIAM Student Travel Awards; Theodore von Karman Prize; James H. Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing; George B. Dantizig Prize, jointly with the Mathematical Optimization Society; George David Birkhoff Prize and the Norbert Wiener Prize, the latter two jointly with the American Mathematical Society. For the purposes of this policy, The John von Neumann Lecture will also be considered a prize.

Establishment and Discontinuation of Prizes

A prize can be established or discontinued only by action of the council and of the board of trustees. Each prize must have associated with it a written "Prize Specification" which contains the elements listed in item 3 below and which must also be approved by the council and the board.

No award or other recognition of scientific achievement, professional service, or the like shall be awarded by any SIAM organization or affiliate without prior approval by both the SIAM Major Awards Committee and the SIAM Council of the award criteria, the method of selection of recipient(s), the nature of the award, and all other related matters. Furthermore, the financial aspects, if any, of each award must have the prior approval of the SIAM Board of Trustees.

Prize Committees

The president shall appoint the members of the individual prize committees. The vice president-at-large shall be in charge of seeing that the various prize committees function smoothly, of advising the president about appointments to the prize committees, of considering suggestions of new prizes, and of soliciting suggested nominees for the President's Medal of Science.

The council shall be informed of the membership of the various prize committees.

Prize Specifications

Each SIAM prize will have associated with it a prize specification, to be kept on the file in the SIAM office. In the case of presently-existing prizes, this specification shall be prepared by the present committee for the particular prize (see item A), and be submitted for approval by the council and the board. The specification shall consist of at least the following:

  1. Establish a Committee for the Prize
    1. The procedure to be used in forming a committee to award the prize.
    2. The committee's tenure.
    3. The committee's rule of operation.
  2. Procedure for Determination of Prize Winners
    1. Eligibility requirements (for example, membership in SIAM, residency requirements, age, etc.)
    2. Guidelines for the determination of a winner of a prize (for example, "For an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense" [Wiener Prize] or "for a notable application of combinatorial theory made within the previous five or ten years" [Polya Prize]).
    3. Procedure for nominating an awardee and procedure if the recommendation is not approved by the Executive Committee of the SIAM Council (see below). In all cases, the procedures should include preparation of a written justification with each nomination of a potential prize winner.
  3. Description of the Award
    1. The type of and specifications for the award (medal, money, etc.). In the case of a financial award, guidelines for determining the amount (e.g., whether it should be limited to income received from the prize fund).
    2. Frequency of the award and/or guidelines in general terms on when to award it, including what to do if no qualified candidates can be found.
    3. Obligations to SIAM of a recipient (e.g., present a lecture).
  4. Prize Fund
    1. Guidelines on the principal amount of the prize fund (lower limits).
    2. Guidelines and procedures for adding to the prize fund.
  5. Procedure for Awarding the Prize and Informing the Membership

Procedure for Reporting of Nominations for a Prize

A committee for a prize, as called for in item 3A, will present for approval to the president and/or executive committee of the council a nomination or nominations for a prize with the written justification of the nomination or nominations.

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