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Major Prizes & Lectures

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 is a modification of the older George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics, originally established as the George Pólya Prize in 1969.

Call for Nominations Opens: May 1, 2023

Prize Description


Prize Description

The George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics, originally established in 1969, is awarded every four years for a notable application of combinatorial theory. The prize is broadly intended to recognize specific work. The award may occasionally be made for cumulative work, but such awards should be rare.


Eligibility Criteria

The prize should be given for a single piece of work. The prize may be awarded to multiple individuals but only for contributions to a single piece of their collaborative work.


Required Materials

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

Winner Announcement

Congratulations to the 2021 recipients, Assefaw H. Gebremedhin, Fredrik Manne, and Alex Pothen! Learn more about their accomplishments.

~*Learn More*~



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


Each recipient of the George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics shall receive an engraved medal and a cash award. The total to be awarded for all winners shall be $10,000. If more than one person receives the prize, the cash award is to be divided equally among the recipients. Expenses for travel by one recipient to the prize award ceremony will be paid by the prize fund.

Award Date

The next award of the George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics will be made at the 2024 Annual Meeting.


Award Presentation

The prize will be presented by the SIAM President at SIAM Annual Meeting or a similar venue. 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

Citation

The 2021 George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics is awarded to Assefaw H. Gebremedhin, Fredrik Manne and Alex Pothen for efficient graph coloring algorithms and codes with applications to Jacobian and Hessian matrix computations.

Selection Committee

Cynthia Phillips (Chair)
Tanya Berger-Wolf
Timothy Davis
Jesus A. De Loera
Christine Heitsch
 

Citation

The 2016 George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics is awarded jointly to József Balogh, Robert Morris and Wojciech Samotij and to David Saxton and Andrew Thomason for their path-breaking work on the container theorem and its applications.

Selection Committee

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

Citation

The 2016 George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics is awarded jointly to József Balogh, Robert Morris and Wojciech Samotij and to David Saxton and Andrew Thomason for their path-breaking work on the container theorem and its applications.

Selection Committee

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

Citation 

The 2012 George Pólya Prize is awarded to Vojtěch Rödl and Mathias Schacht for their seminal work on the regularity method for hypergraphs. Rödl and Schacht have produced a central body of results developing, extending, and consolidating Szemerédi’s regularity method for hypergraphs. They have also shown how this method leads to remarkable results like the generalized hypergraph removal lemma and the theorem that every decidable, hereditary property of k-uniform hypergraphs is testable with one-sided error.

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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