- David Crighton Award 2012
- David Crighton Award 2009
- Christopher Zeeman Medal 2008
- Full list of previous winners
Peter Neumann has been an animator of British mathematics for fifty years, and has plunged energetically into every aspect of the mathematical world.
First, into research, becoming - like both of his parents - an algebraist. He has worked on permutation groups, combinatorics, and computational group theory. Each of his research articles is beautifully crafted, with its place in mathematics carefully thought out and explained, together with thoughtful comments on where further work might lead. Several of these papers have been highly influential. For example, his creation, jointly with Cheryl Praeger, of a recognition algorithm for special linear groups opened a new area in computational group theory; his memoir with Adeleke giving a general theory of tree-like relational structures inspired new directions in infinite permutation groups, model theory and graph theory; and his recent paper on synchronising groups is the first of a new attack on the Cerny conjecture for synchronising automatons.
Then, as a teacher, Peter's enthusiasm and the originality of his teaching methods have made him legendary. Very many who encountered him as undergraduates, some of them now prominent mathematicians and some no longer in the mathematical world, speak of how he was the first to awaken them to the joy and fascination of mathematics. At the junior research level his Kinderseminar is famous far outside Oxford. He has successfully supervised nearly forty doctoral students.
On the national mathematics stage he was chairman, in 1991/2 of the committee that presented to the LMS, IMA, and RSS the report that led to four-year MMaths degrees.
Yet another area of his work has been for the U.K. Mathematics Trust, whose founding chairman he became in 1996. This is a body which organizes mathematical activities and competitions among schoolchildren. It took over the responsibilities of the British Mathematical Olympiad Committee, and hosted the worldwide Congress of the International Mathematical Olympiad in Glasgow in 2002. During the seven years of his chairmanship he brought the Trust from small beginnings to a large educational charity in whose competitions about three-quarters of a million pupils are now involved each year, and he has continued to work as an enthusiastic volunteer in the Trust's training programmes since stepping down from the chairmanship. The Trust has had an immeasurable effect in raising awareness of mathematics in British schools, and has created a real new enthusiasm for the subject throughout the country, bringing together academics, mathematicians active in other professions, school teachers, and the wider public.
Finally, Peter has been for many years a stalwart of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, and has done as much as anyone to promote the study of the history of mathematics as an important discipline in British universities. He has himself become a serious mathematical historian, producing a definitive and much acclaimed critical edition of the papers of Galois in 2011.
Arieh Iserles' research has been at the leading edge of numerical analysis for his whole career. His early papers dealt with stability and accuracy which were at the forefront of numerical analysis at the time. In particular, he wrote an important paper with Gilbert Strang (1983) on the accuracy of difference schemes and a first book with Syvert Nørsett (1991) on the theory of order stars.
Arieh's most important mathematical contributions include being one of the leading practitioners of geometric numerical integration and in particular the subdiscipline of Lie group methods, which are numerical integration methods for ordinary differential equations on Lie groups and homogeneous spaces. Geometric integrators preserve structure such as the presence of symmetry, invariant volumes and symplectic geometry. The Lie group integrators preserve not just the Lie group as a manifold, but have built in the presence of a group action and a Lie algebra as the tangent space. Arieh's recent work on highly oscillatory integrals is also deserving of high praise, and is a breath of fresh air in a classically difficult subject. It should be mentioned that the algorithms Arieh studies always exhibit sensitivity to the problems of implementation, so the work covers the whole range from theory to practice.
Two other areas of Arieh's research are worthy of special mention. One is a seminal contribution to approximation theory, by developing the theory of Sobolev Orthogonal Polynomials, with Koch, Nørsett and Sanz-Serna (1991). Another is recent work with Tony Bloch on isospectral flows with Poisson structure, leading to the discovery of a new and fascinating integrable system of Toda type, now known as the Bloch-Iserles system.
Arieh has an outstanding record of service to the research community. There are three main contributions: editorial work, especially that of Acta Numerica; to the Society for the Foundations of Computational Mathematics, and finally, a stellar record of teaching and mentoring.
Arieh's editorial work is what editorial work should be but infrequently is. He doesn't just manage; he reads the papers himself and joins in the decision making and advice to authors, rather than relying solely on referees. Arieh founded Acta Numerica in 1992. Its pages have included many seminal review articles in a large variety of active and important topics. During 2004-9 it achieved the highest mathematical citation quotient (MCQ) of any journal indexed by Mathematical Reviews (Annals of Mathematics was in second place). Among many other journals, Arieh also co-managed the Journal of Foundations of Computational Mathematics with Peter Olver and then Mike Todd, and it has achieved pre-eminence as the leading journal of the field.
Arieh was one of the founding members of the Society of Foundations of Computational Mathematics, with Steve Smale and Mike Shub among others. This organisation has been a great success, and Arieh has been fully active as Secretary, Chair, Board member and committee worker. In particular, there is a huge triennial conference with nine days of talks, 18 plenary speakers and more than 20 separate workshops in topics ranging from computational number theory to flocking and swarming. This breadth and diversity with quality is the hallmark of Arieh's vision for FoCM.
Last but not least, is Arieh's contributions to teaching and mentoring, with award winning former students, a strong contribution to women in mathematics, and a textbook on Numerical Analysis. It is hard to give Arieh sufficient credit for the influence he has on others, his energy, enthusiasm, commitment and friendship.
The Councils of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and of the London Mathematical Society have awarded the 2009 David Crighton Medal for services to mathematics and to the mathematical community to Professor Keith Moffatt, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge, in recognition of his contributions to fluid dynamics and mathematical modelling and for his leadership in many positions in UK and international mathematical organisations.
Keith Moffatt is one of the world's pre-eminent applied mathematicians, who has, over a research career spanning 50 years, made land-mark contributions to an extraordinarily wide range of problems in fluid mechanics.
Seminal works include his creation of the new sub-discipline of topological fluid mechanics, in which he used fundamental notions from topology to shed light on the dynamics of turbulent flow; his discovery of unsteady circulatory motion in low-Reynolds number corner flow (the so-called Moffatt eddies); and in magnetohydrodynamics, in which he elucidated the interaction between fluid turbulence and magnetic fields.
Keith's work is characterised by his ability to translate complex physical processes into tractable mathematical models, which he solves with great elegance to yield an extraordinary level of new physical insight and understanding. His ability to communicate this insight to an audience, and to inspire them with his fascination for the subject, is one of the hallmarks of his presentations.
Keith has made an immense contribution to the mathematics community. His highly successful tenure as Director of the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) in Cambridge has had a major impact on both UK and international mathematics. Under his leadership the INI was able to cement its position as a key asset for the whole UK community. The breadth of exceptional programmes that Keith was able to attract from across the full mathematical spectrum was a key element during his period as Director. INI participants speak with great affection of his constant interest in their programmes and his attention to detail.
Keith has also given many years of outstanding service to the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM), including a period as President, 2000-2004. Beyond these contributions he is particularly active in helping to build capacity for mathematical research in developing nations, and has been a long-term champion of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town.
The Councils of the IMA and LMS have awarded the inaugural Christopher Zeeman Medal to Professor Ian Stewart, FRS, of the University of Warwick, in recognition of his wide-ranging and highly influential activities in promoting mathematics through books, radio, television and public lectures, thereby bringing the excitement and fascination of mathematics to a large number of people.
The Christopher Zeeman Medal was launched this year as a triennial award of the IMA and LMS to recognise and reward the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public, and to encourage others to work in this area by demonstrating that such activities are valued and are a part of a mathematician’s role and responsibilities. The Medal is to be presented by Sir Christopher at a joint meeting of the two societies in 2009.
Ian Stewart has been an outstanding communicator of mathematics for nearly 40 years, and has set the standards for all mathematics communicators to follow. Ian Stewart has made a huge contribution to the promotion of mathematics both through his individual work, in inspiring those who work with him, and in developing an extraordinary canon of output. He has inspired countless numbers of people both to have an interest in mathematics and to take up mathematics as a career.
He is a master of all media for communicating mathematics. He has written 14 popular mathematics books (translated into many different languages), all of which are masterpieces in combining clarity of expression, the means to communicate to a broad audience and also enough deep mathematics to satisfy and educate a professional mathematician. They include such notable works as Does God Play Dice?, Concepts in Modern Mathematics, The Problems of Mathematics, Nature’s Numbers, The Magical Maze, Letters to a Young Mathematician and Why Beauty is Truth. In all of these books he has never compromised in the level of mathematics that he has presented, and always manages to find a path to lead a general audience upwards so that they can appreciate the true power and beauty of modern mathematics. This was also evident in the many Mathematical Recreations columns that he wrote for the Scientific American and more recently in the Enigmas and Puzzles section of Prospect Magazine. He has also frequently appeared on both radio and television and has for many years been the major advocate of mathematics in the popular media. In 1997 he was the Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer (the second ever to present mathematics).
In addition to popular works he has written remarkably clear mathematics textbooks such as Galois Theory, Algebraic Number Theoryand Catastrophe Theory and its Applications. He has also conducted leading-edge research into the field of bifurcations with symmetry (supervising many research students), co-authoring the major textbook in this field. This has led to 175 publications including seminal papers on animal gait. As well as his mathematical works, he has written successful science-fiction books and books on extraterrestrial biology which further show his ability to communicate scientific ideas to a vast audience.
Submitted by Donald Eastwood on