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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.

Next Call for Nominations Opens: May 1, 2024

Prize Description

Prize Description

The George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition, established in 2013, 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. Following Pólya’s example, the nature of the work may range from popular accounts of mathematics and mathematical discovery to pedagogy to systematic organization of mathematical knowledge.

Eligibility Criteria

The prize may be awarded to multiple individuals but only for contributions to their collaborative work.

Required Materials

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

Attend the Meeting

The George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition will next be awarded at ICIAM 2023.

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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

Selection Committee


Tobin Driscoll
University of Delaware


Joerg Gablonsky
The Boeing Company
Padma Raghavan
Vanderbilt University
Robert Scheichl
University of Heidelberg
Mahamadi Warma
George Mason University

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 one 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 ICIAM 2023.

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


The 2021 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded to Nicholas J. Higham for the crisp clarity, elegance, and accessibility of his mathematical and popular exposition on a broad range of topics in applied mathematics.

Selection Committee

Nilima Nigam (Chair)
Andrew Bernoff
Christopher Budd
Anne Greenbaum
Shawn W. Walker


The 2019 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded to Steven Strogatz for his extensive and brilliant works conveying the fascination and the impact of mathematics to the general public through numerous books, newspaper and magazine articles, and radio, television, web, and video appearances, and for his important and influential textbook on nonlinear dynamics and chaos.

Selection Committee

Douglas Arnold (Chair)
Daniela Calvetti
Timothy Chartier
Zdenek Strakos
Pauline van den Driessche


The 2017 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded to Nick Trefethen for the exceptionally well-expressed accumulated insights found in his books, papers, essays, and talks... His enthusiastic approach to his subject, his leadership, and his delight at the enlightenment achieved are unique and inspirational, motivating others to learn and do applied mathematics through the practical combination of deep analysis and algorithmic dexterity.

Selection Committee

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


The 2015 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded to Gerhard Wanner primarily for the five very readable books that he has co-authored. They display deep mathematics, presented with elegance, enthusiasm, wit, scholarship, and much history. These books have uniquely delineated numerical ODEs (especially stiff equations) and geometric integration and created an historical perspective for the teaching and understanding of analysis and geometry.

Selection Committee

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


Contact Prize Program