A fitting tribute to William T. Reid by John Burns at the SIAM Annual Meeting

August 25, 2010

SIAM is pleased to announce that Professor John A. Burns of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University received the W. T. and Idalia Reid Prize in recognition of his contributions in computational methods for and applications in the control, design and optimization of infinite dimensional dynamical systems.

Burns is the Hatcher Professor of Mathematics and a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics (ICAM) at Virginia Tech. He became Technical Director of ICAM in 1987. In the past, he has served as SIAM Vice President for Programs, and as Chair of the SIAM Activity Group (SIAG) on Control and Systems Theory. A founding editor of SIAM's book series Advances in Design and Control, he was also formerly a Managing Editor of SIAM Review.

Professor William T. Reid was Burns' thesis advisor while he worked for his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Oklahoma. Burns is the first of Professor Reid's students to receive the prize. He therefore took the opportunity of the prize lecture, at the SIAM Annual Meeting, to give a tribute to the life and works of his former advisor. In the Reid Prize Lecture, Burns gave the audience a view into the personality of Professor Reid not only by elucidating his research work but also by engaging them with a generous number of anecdotes about William and Idalia Reid.

The W. T. and Idalia Reid Prize was established by SIAM in 1993, and is given annually in honor of William T. Reid to celebrate his love of mathematics. It is funded by an endowment from the late Mrs. Idalia Reid. The prize is awarded for research in, or other contributions to, the broadly defined areas of differential equations and control theory. Each prize may be given for a single notable achievement or a collection of such achievements. Burns received a cash award of $10,000 and an engraved medal at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon at the 2010 Annual Meeting held July 12-16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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