Martin Kruskal Lecture (SIAG/Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures)


Martin David Kruskal (1925- 2006) was an American mathematician and physicist. He made fundamental contributions in many areas of mathematics and science, ranging from plasma physics to general relativity and from nonlinear analysis to asymptotic analysis. His single most celebrated contribution was the discovery and theory of solitons. Kruskal received the National Medal of Science in 1993 “for his influence as a leader in nonlinear science for more than two decades as the principal architect of the theory of soliton solutions of nonlinear equations of evolution.”


Principal Guideline

The Martin Kruskal Lecture, established in 2011, is awarded every two years for a notable body of mathematics and contributions in the field of nonlinear waves and coherent structures.  The award may be given either for a single notable achievement or for a collection of such achievements.



The awardee's work must be a significant research contribution to the mathematical theory of nonlinear waves and coherent structures, where this research area is interpreted as being in the spirit of the SIAG on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures meetings.

A nomination consists of a letter of nomination outlining the major achievements of the candidate regarding his/her work in NWCS, a CV of the candidate, and letters of support from two or three (but no more than three) experts.


Prize Committee

The Prize Committee will consist of five members.  The SIAG Chair, in consultation with the other officers, will form a list of people to serve on the prize selection committee, will designate a committee chair, and will submit the list to the SIAM Vice President at Large (SIAM VP) for approval prior to inviting the committee members to serve.  The SIAG officers will seek to ensure a diverse composition of the Prize Committee in research area, gender, geography, employment sector (industry, national laboratories, universities), and under-represented groups. The appointments will be made at least twelve months in advance of the prize award date.

The term of office of the prize committee will be from the date of appointment until the date of the award.

Rules of Operation
The prize committee will be responsible for soliciting nominations for the prize from the members of the SIAG/NWCS and, more broadly, from the scientific community, using the SIAG list and other SIAM resources as needed.  The prize selection committee will follow the SIAM rules for conflict of interest as posted on the SIAM website (  The nomination period should close about eight months prior to the award date.


Selection Procedures

Timeline and Approval Process
The timeline for making the selection is driven by the need to inform the prize winner in sufficient time so that there is a reasonable expectation that the recipient can make arrangements to attend the prize session.

The following guidelines will be used by the SIAG officers, prize committee, and administrators.

Committee Formation
The Prize Committee is formed about 12 months prior to the award date.

Nomination Period
The nomination period will close about 8 months prior to the award date.

Prize Committee's Recommendation
The Prize Committee makes a recommendation to the SIAM VP about 6 months prior to the award date.  This will be done with a written justification and a citation not to exceed 25 words that can be used in a certificate and read at the award ceremony.

The SIAM VP will accept or reject the committee's recommendation within one month of notification.  If the recommendation is accepted, the award presentation will be made according to the procedure below.  If the recommendation is not accepted, the SIAM VP and the Chair of the Prize Committee will select an acceptable individual at least five months prior to the award date.


Notification of Award

Upon approval by the SIAM VP, the SIAG/NWCS Chair or his/her designee will notify the award winner within two weeks of approval, and no later than about 5 months prior to the award date.  An invitation will be extended to the recipient to attend the award ceremony to receive the award and to present a plenary lecture, as described below.


Description of the Award

Award Type
The award will consist of a plaque and a certificate containing the award citation.  As part of the award, the recipient will be invited to present a plenary lecture at the biennial SIAM conference on NWCS.  Travel funds will be made available to reimburse the recipient for reasonable travel expenses incurred in attending the award ceremony and giving the lecture.

Award Date
The award may be given every second year (starting in 2012) at the conference.


Prize Fund

Since there is no cash award and minimal expenses associated with the prize, there will be no prize fund.


The Award Presentation

The Chair of the SIAG/NWCS (or Vice Chair if the Chair is not available) will present the award at the conference.


Previous Martin Kruskal Lecturers

The next award of the prize will be made in 2016.


Selection Committee

Click here to see a list of selection committee members by year.


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