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Assyr Abdulle Receives 2013 SIAM Dahlquist Prize

By Mari Paz Calvo

Assyr Abdulle of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne received SIAM’s Dahlquist Prize at the 2013 SciCADE Conference. The selection committee cited his “contributions to the numerical analysis of stiff ordinary differential equations, to multiscale methods for partial and stochastic differential equations and to the implementation of numerical algorithms to problems in chemistry and biology.” The work of Abdulle, a professor (Professeur Ordinaire) of mathematics at EPFL, was also recognized by SIAM in 2009, when he received the James H. Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing.

Assyr Abdulle (left) received SIAM’s 2013 Dahlquist Prize at SciCADE, in Valladolid, Spain. Awarding the prize was its first-ever recipient (1995), Chus Sanz-Serna, whose 60th birthday was also celebrated at the conference.

Abdulle spent his formative years in Geneva, where he obtained a professional degree in violin, an instrument he still plays regularly. In 2001 he received a PhD in mathematics from the Université de Genève under the supervision of Gerhard Wanner and Ernst Hairer. He has held appointments in Princeton, Zurich (ETH), Basel, and Edinburgh.

The Dahlquist Prize is awarded every two years for contributions to fields associated with Germund Dahlquist. Presentation of the prize can take place at a SciCADE Conference, at ICIAM, or at a SIAM Annual Meeting. Chus Sanz-Serna, chair of the SciCADE scientific committee and recipient of the first Dahlquist Prize (in 1995), for his work in symplectic integration, presented the certificate and cash prize to Abdulle in Valladolid, Spain, where SciCADE 2013 was held, September 16–20.

In a plenary prize talk titled “From Darcy to Wave Equations,” Abdulle gave a broad overview of his current work on multiscale numerical methods. These methods work simultaneously at different temporal and spatial scales; the aim is to account in a realistic way for the macroscopic effects of, say, molecular phenomena without having to resort to a full-fledged numerical simulation of the complex microscales involved. As the initial motivating example in his lecture, Abdulle chose flow in a porous medium, as studied by Henry Darcy in his spectacularly successful work on the water supply of the city of Dijon, France, in the mid-19th century.

SciCADE 2013, with a program devoted to scientific computing and the numerical solution of differential equations, attracted more than 250 researchers from about 30 countries, the largest contingent coming from Germany. The meeting was also the forum for the awarding of the John Butcher Prize of the New Zealand branch of ANZIAM (Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics). Valladolid (41.6 N, 4.7 W) is almost exactly antipodal to Wellington (41.3 S, 147.8 E), and is thus the most distant venue the New Zealanders could have chosen. The Butcher Prize, which recognizes the best presentation by a PhD student, went to Yuto Miyatake of Tokyo. Also recognized at the conference was Ludwig Gauckler (Technical University of Berlin), who received the SciCADE New Talent Award.

The conference was organized by the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Valladolid to coincide with the celebration of Sanz-Serna’s 60th birthday. Previous SciCADE meetings were held in Beijing (2009) and Toronto (2011); the next is scheduled for 2015 in Potsdam, Germany.

Mari Paz Calvo is a professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Valladolid in Spain.