UT Austin professor honored with prestigious mathematics award

June 30, 2009

Mary F. Wheeler to receive the Theodore von Kármán Prize

Mary F. Wheeler, of The University of Texas at Austin, will be awarded the Theodore von Kármán Prize at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in Denver, Colorado, July 6-10. She is being recognized for her seminal research in numerical methods for partial differential equations, her leadership in the field of scientific computation and service to the scientific community, and for her pioneering work in the application of computational methods to the engineering sciences, most notably in geosciences.

Professor Wheeler is at the forefront of efforts in forging connections between mathematics and engineering, and between academia and industry. Her work over the last decade has included developing and applying state-of-the-art algorithms and computational science tools to problems of societal importance in energy and the environment. She will deliver the 2009 von Kármán Prize Lecture, "Computational Environments for Coupling Multiphase Flow, Transport, and Geomechanics in Porous Media for Modeling Carbon Sequestration," on Thursday, July 9.

Wheeler has also been honored with the charter SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Career Prize, and presented the Career Prize Lecture, "Challenges in Modeling Subsurface Complex Phenomena," July 16, at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS09) in Leipzig, Germany. She is also among the SIAM Fellows Class of 2009.

Currently director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, her research interests include the numerical solution of partial differential systems with applications to the modeling of subsurface and surface flows and parallel computation. Her applications include multiphase flow and geomechanics in reservoir engineering and carbon sequestration in saline aquifers, contaminant transport in groundwater and bays and estuaries, and angiogenesis in biomedical engineering.

Established in 1968, the Theodore von Kármán Prize is awarded every five years for a notable application of mathematics to mechanics and/or the engineering sciences. The award may be given for a single notable achievement or for a collection of such achievements. The selection committee for the 2009 award included Charles Doering (Chair), University of Michigan; Clint Dawson, The University of Texas at Austin; and Charbel Farhat, Stanford University.



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