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Joint Prizes

JPBM Communications Award

The JPBM Communications Award is given annually to reward and encourage communicators who, on a sustained basis, bring mathematical ideas and information to non-mathematical audiences. The prize may be awarded in two categories: For Public Outreach and For Expository and Popular Books. Nominations can be submitted via the AMS website.

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Prize Description


Prize Description

The Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) established the JPBM Communications Award in 1988 to reward and encourage communicators who, on a sustained basis, bring mathematical ideas and information to non-mathematical audiences. Since 2016, the prize may be awarded in two categories: For Public Outreach and For Expository and Popular Books. Up to two awards are made annually.

The nominating committee consists of one representative from each member society of the JPBM. The committee's selection process is chaired by the society chairing JPBM for the year. JPBM is a collaborative effort of SIAM, the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Statistical Association (ASA), and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).


Eligibility Criteria

The prize may be awarded to any mathematician or non-mathematician who meets the general guideline of the prize description.


Required Materials

  • A short description of the canidate's work that is the basis of the nomination
  • Candidate's CV

Winner Announcement

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients, Jordan Ellenberg and Grant Sanderson! Learn more about their accomplishments.

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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 JPBM Communications Award


The JPBM Communications Award includes a $2,000 monetary award. The JPBM will reimburse the recipient for reasonable travel expenses incurred in accepting the award.

Award Date

The JPBM Communications Award will next be awarded in January 2023 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.


Award Presentation

The award will be presented at the Prize Session and Reception during the Joint Mathematics Meetings. The announcement of the award will appear in SIAM News, the SIAM website, and appropriate electronic media.


Award Fund

The funds for this award are dedicated by the Joint Policy Board on Mathematics.

Prize History



Prize History

Citation

Jordan Ellenberg received the 2023 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for his clear and entertaining prose that brings the power and beauty of mathematics to general audiences. In addition to authoring two best-selling books, How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking (2014) and Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else (2021) — Ellenberg also contributes numerous articles to newspapers and magazines in print and online.

Citation

Grant Sanderson received the 2023 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for 3Blue1Brown, his watchable and engaging YouTube channel, with over 4 million subscribers, about discovery and creativity in mathematics. Topics range broadly across timely and important mathematical areas, from neural networks to information theory to unexpected appearances of pi in analysis and number theory. Through 3Blue1Brown videos and animations, Sanderson presents mathematics both as practically valuable and as an art form, rich with inviting stories and arresting images.

Citation

Talithia Williams has won the 2022 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for bringing mathematics and statistics into the homes and hands of millions through her work as a TV host, renowned speaker, and author.

Citation

John Bailer, Richard Campbell and Rosemary Pennington receive the 2021 JPBM Communications Award for their engaging, entertaining, and enlightening Stats + Stories podcast that for over six years has brought the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics' to public radio and a broad podcast audience.

Citation

Erica Klarreich receives the 2021 JPBM Communications Award for her work as a writer and popularizer of mathematics and science. She writes about mathematics and theoretical computer science, and her writing has been chosen for and reprinted in Best Writing on Mathematics in four different years. Her works have appeared in Quanta, The Atlantic, New Scientist, Science News, Wired and other publications for a general audience. Erica Klarreich received a PhD in mathematics in 1997.

Citation

Chris Budd receives the 2020 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for his passionate popularization of mathematics. Through his positions at Gresham College, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, his books, and his work with science festivals and schools, he inspires audiences of all ages.

Citation

James Tanton is a recipient of the 2020 Joint Policy for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for global leadership in high school mathematics instruction. Through his "G'Day Math!" online courses, MAA Curriculum Inspirations, numerous textbooks, and the Global Math Project, he is inspiring millions to learn, and teach, math in wonderful new ways.

Citation

The 2019 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award was presented to Margot Lee Shetterly for her book and subsequent movie "Hidden Figures," which opened science and mathematics to a new generation of women and people of color by bringing into the light the stories of the African-American women who made significant contributions to aeronautics and astronautics, and, ultimately, to America's victory in the space race. 

2018 Vi Hart
Citation: The 2018 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award was presented to Vi Hart for entertaining, thought-provoking mathematics and music videos on YouTube that explain mathematical concepts through doodles.
2018 Matt Parker
Citation:
The 2018 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award was presented to Matt Parker for communicating the excitement of mathematics to a worldwide audience through YouTube videos, TV and radio appearances, book and newspaper writings, and stand-up comedy.
2017 Arthur T. Benjamin
2017 Siobhan Roberts
2016 Museum of Mathematics
2016 Simon Singh
2015 Nate Silver
2014 Danica McKellar
2013 John Allen Paulos
2012 Dana Mackenzie
2011 Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton
2010 Marcus du Sautoy
2009 George Csicsery
2008 Carl Bialik
2007 Steven H. Strogatz
2006 Roger Penrose
2005 Barry Cipra
2004 No award was given
2003 Robert Osserman
2002 Helaman Ferguson and Claire Ferguson
2001 Keith Devlin
2000 Sylvia Nasar
1999 John Lynch and Simon Singh
1999 Ian Stewart
1998 Constance Reid
1997 Phillip J. Davis
1996 Gina Kolata
1994 Martin Gardner
1993 Joel Schneider
1991 Ivars Peterson
1990 Hugh Whitemore
1988 James Gleick

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