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Major Prizes & Lectures

George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition

This prize was created in 2013 to emphasize George Pólya’s legacy of communicating mathematics effectively. It joins two long-standing Pólya prizes SIAM has awarded in combinatorics and other fields beginning in 1969.

Prize Description


Prize Description

The George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded every two years to an outstanding expositor of the mathematical sciences. The prize may be awarded for a specific work or for the cumulative impact of multiple expository works that communicate mathematics effectively. The work may range from popular accounts of mathematics and mathematical discovery, from pedagogy to systematic organization of mathematical knowledge.


Eligibility Criteria

The prize may be awarded to any member of the scientific community who meets the general guideline of the prize description. The prize is intended to recognize specific recent work.


Required Materials

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

Winner Announcement

Congratulations to the 2019 winner, Steven Strogatz, who received the award at ICIAM 2019, in Valencia, Spain. Learn more about his accomplishments.

~*Learn More*~



Prize Details

Prize Details

Read the full prize specifications.

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Nomination Deadline Calendar

See all prizes with open calls for nominations.

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Selection Committee

About the Award


About the George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition


The George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition 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 recipient for reasonable travel expenses incurred in attending the award ceremony.

Award Date

The George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition will next be awarded at the 2021 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

Robert O’Malley (Chair)
Arieh Iserles 
Amy Langville 
Peter Olver 
Ferdinand Verhulst 

Selection Committee

Robert O’Malley (Chair)
Philip Holmes 
Ilse Ipsen 
Arieh Iserles 
David Watkins 

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