Professor honored with prestigious award for work in computational mathematics

June 30, 2009

EPFL's Assyr Abdulle to receive prize in numerical analysis and scientific computing

Professor Assyr Abdulle, of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, will be honored with the James H. Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing during the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in Denver, Colorado, July 6-10.

Abdulle is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to a broad range of applied mathematics fields, including stability analysis and mathematical software for stiff initial value problems, efficient solution algorithms for stochastic differential equations, and error analysis of heterogeneous multiscale methods. Abdulle will be presented with a monetary award and certificate at the Prizes and Award Luncheon on Tuesday, July 7, and will present the 2009 Wilkinson Prize Lecture entitled "Numerical Techniques for Stiff and Multiscale Differential Equations" on Friday, July 10.

Professor Abdulle is currently chair of Computational Mathematics and Numerical Analysis at the Institute of Analysis and Scientific Computing (IACS) at EPFL. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Geneva University in 2001 and completed his first post-doctoral year at Princeton University in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics with successive positions at ETH Zurich, the University of Basel, and the University of Edinburgh. His awards include the SciCADE new talent prize (2005) and an Advanced Research Fellowship by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2007).

Abdulle's first major result was the proof of one of Prof. Lebedev's (Russian Academy of Sciences) conjectures in the field of stiff differential equations that had been open for many years. This result enabled him to develop new numerical methods (known under the acronym ROCK) used by scientists throughout the world for numerous applications. Another of his fields of expertise is the modeling and numerical analysis of multiscale partial differential equations where he has helped to develop a new framework for the numerical treatment of multiscale problems. He is also active in the field of stochastic differential equations and recently developed novel numerical methods that hold promise for solving stiff stochastic problems.

Established in 1979, the Wilkinson Prize is awarded every four years for research in, or other contributions to numerical analysis and scientific computing during the six years preceding the award. The purpose of the prize is to stimulate younger contributors and to help them in their careers. The selection committee for the 2009 prize includes Howard Elman (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park; Richard S. Falk, Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey; and Michael T. Heath, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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