JPBM Communications Award

The nominating committee for the communications award consists of one representative from each society, chosen from the members of JPBM. Chairing and guiding the process to select the recipient of the Communications Award is done by the society Chairing JPBM for the year. (JPBM Mtg. 12/03)

Purpose and Criteria

This award was established by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) in 1988 to reward and encourage communicators who, on a sustained basis, bring mathematical ideas and information to nonmathematical audiences. Both mathematicians and non mathematicians are eligible. Currently, the $1,000 award is made annually. (JPBM Mtg. 12/03)

Nomination Procedures

You should provide:
• name, position, institution, professional address and e-mail, professional phone and fax, home address and home phone number of the candidate;
• name, position, institution, and professional address and phone of the nominator;
• a statement of the action or actions that form the basis for the nomination;
• the candidate's vita;
• at least one representative sample which illustrates the nominee's contribution. Books,
videotapes, brochures, magazine articles, or other materials as appropriate.

Previous Recipients

1988 James Gleick, Chaos and many items in The New York Times.
1990 Hugh Whitemore, "Breaking the Code"
1991 Ivars Peterson, "Mathematical Tourist, Islands of Truth", many articles in Science News
1993 Joel Schneider, "Square One TV"
1994 Martin Gardner, "Fractal Music, Hypercard and More", mathematics writer for Scientific American, numerous publications
1996 Gina Kolata, The New York Times, formerly at Science
1997 Phillip J Davis for "The Mathematical Experience and Descartes' Dream", written jointly with Reuben Hersh; "The Thread: a Mathematical Yarn", Thomas Gray, Philosopher; and Mathematical Encounters of the Second Kind.
1998 Constance Reid - From Zero to Infinity; Jerry Neyman: From Life; The Search for E.T. Bell; Julia: A Life in Mathematics
1999 Ian Stewart - Life's Other Secret (1998); Nature's Numbers (1995); Another Fine Math You've Got Me Into (1992); Game, Set, and Math: Enigmas and Conundrums (1989); The Problems of Mathematics (1987); co-editor, Seven Years of Manifold (1981)
1999 John Lynch and Simon Singh - Special Communications Award for their documentary, "Fermat's Last Theorem" (shown on NOVA as "The Proof")
2000 Sylvia Nasar, "A Beautiful Mind".
2001 Keith Devlin - many books ("Mathematics - The Science of Patterns"), many articles, NPR interviews
2002 Helaman Ferguson and Claire Ferguson, Mathematics in Stone and Bronze.
2003 Robert Osserman, author, "Poetry of the Universe- A Mathematical Exploration of the Universe", Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1995
2004 No award given
2005 Barry Cipra, many books and articles
2006 Roger Penrose, for discovery of Penrose tilings and for an extraordinary series of books
2007 Steven H. Strogatz, author, "Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order" (2003)
2008 Carl Bialik, for increasing the public's understanding of mathematical concepts
2009 George Csicsery, filmmaker, for communicating the beauty and fascination of mathematics and the passion of those who pursue it
2010 Marcus du Sautoy, for complementing his love of mathematical discovery with a passion for communicating mathematics to a broad public
2011 Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton for their positive portrayal of the power and fun of mathematics through their hit TV series, Numb3rs.
2012 Dana Mackenzie for a remarkably broad and deep body of writing for experts and nonexperts alike
2013 John Allen Paulos for his books, columns, reviews, speeches, and editorials which have for more than twenty-five years brought mathematically informed ideas, information, opinion, and humor to a broad nonspecialist audience.
2014 Danica McKellar for her books, blog, and public appearances which have encouraged countless middle and high school students, especially girls, to be more interested in mathematics.
2015 Nate Silver for his articles for major media, his blog, and his book The Signal and the Noise, which have provided a great public service by showing how sound quantitative methods can greatly increase understanding of significant societal issues.
2016 For Public Outreach: Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) for its innovative approach to presenting fundamental mathematical ideas to the public in a variety of creative, informative, and entertaining exhibits and events that engage audiences with the beauty and utility of mathematics in daily life.
2016 For Expository and Popular Books: Simon Singh for his fascinating books on mathematical topics, including Fermat’s Enigma, The Code Book, and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, which have opened up the beauty of mathematics and mathematical thinking to broad audiences with clear and charming prose.


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