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.
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.
The prize may be awarded to multiple individuals but only for contributions to their collaborative work.
Congratulations to the 2023 recipient, Hannah Fry! Learn more about her accomplishments.
Read the full prize specifications.
See all prizes with open calls for nominations.
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.
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.
The initial funds for this prize were contributed by the estate of Stella V. Pólya.
The 2023 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded to Hannah Fry for sustained excellence in conveying the power and appeal of mathematics to large audiences of colleagues, domain experts, students, and the public.
Tobin Driscoll (Chair)Joerg GablonskyPadma RaghavanRobert ScheichlMahamadi Warma
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.
Nilima Nigam (Chair)Andrew BernoffChristopher BuddAnne GreenbaumShawn 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.
Douglas Arnold (Chair)Daniela CalvettiTimothy ChartierZdenek StrakosPauline 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.
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.
Robert O’Malley (Chair)Philip Holmes Ilse Ipsen Arieh Iserles David Watkins
Support the SIAM Prize & Awards Program.