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George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics

This prize is intended to emphasize applications of combinatorics and is funded by the estate of Stella Pólya in memory of her husband George. The prize will first be awarded in 2020, and is a modification of the older George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics, originally established as the George Pólya Prize in 1969.

Next Call for Nominations Opens May 1, 2019

Prize Description


Prize Description

The George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics is awarded every four years to an individual for significant contributions to applications of combinatorics. The prize is broadly intended to recognize specific recent work. Prize committees may occasionally consider an award for cumulative work, but such awards should be rare.


Eligibility Criteria

There are no restrictions on eligibility beyond those specified in the prize description.


Required Materials

  • Nominator’s letter of recommendation for candidate
  • Candidate's CV
  • Two or three letters of support from experts in the field

Prize Details

Prize Details

Read the full prize specifications.

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Nomination Deadline Calendar

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Selection Committee

About the Award


About the George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics


The George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics includes an engraved medal and a monetary award that totals $10,000 for all winners. If more than one person receives the prize, the monetary award will be divided equally among the recipients. SIAM will reimburse the recipients for reasonable travel expenses incurred in attending the award ceremony.

Award Date

The George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics will next be awarded in July 2020 at the SIAM Annual Meeting.


Award Presentation

The prize will be presented by the SIAM President at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon. The announcement of the award will appear in SIAM News, the SIAM website, and appropriate electronic media.


Prize Fund

The initial funds for this prize were contributed by the estate of Stella V. Pólya.

Prize History



Prize History

Selection Committee

Alex Pothen (Chair)
Richard A. Brualdi 
Karen L. Collins 
David P. Williamson

Selection Committee

Alex Pothen (Chair)
Richard A. Brualdi 
Karen L. Collins 
David P. Williamson

Selection Committee

Lenore Cowen (Chair)
Imre Bárány 
Richard A. Brualdi 
David S. Johnson 
Michael Molloy 

Selection Committee

Rolf Moehring (Chair)
David S. Johnson 
Alex Pothen 
Carla Savage 
Doug B. West 

Selection Committee

William J. Cook (Chair)
Fan Chung Graham 
Jerrold Griggs 
Laszlo Lovasz 
Peter Winkler 

2000 Noga Alon
1996 Jeffry Ned Kahn and David Reimer
1992 Gil Kalai and Saharon Shelah
1987 Andrew Chi-Chih Yao
1983 Anders Bjorner and Paul Seymour
1979 Laszlo Lovasz
1975 Richard P. Stanley, Endre Szemeredi, and Richard M. Wilson
1971 Ronald L. Graham, Klaus Leeb, Bruce. L. Rothschild, Alfred W. Hales, and Robert I. Jewett 

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