Dr. Thomas J. R. Hughes of the University of Texas at Austin was awarded the 2017 SIAM/ACM Prize in CS&E, March 2, at the SIAM Conference on CS&E (CSE17) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hughes is Peter O'Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics and Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas at Austin.
The prize honors Hughes for his pioneering work on finite element methods for PDEs. His work is used world-wide in engineering design and simulation, and has impacted every field of science that uses finite element methods, including medicine. He has also made pioneering contributions to the seamless integration of modeling methodologies with design representations. He has created entirely new fields of research, including Stabilized Methods, Variational Multiscale Methods, and Isogeometric Analysis, and continues to lead their development.
SIAM and ACM award the prize in the area of computational science in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development and use of mathematical and computational tools and methods for the solution of science and engineering problems. The prize is intended to recognize either one individual or a group of individuals. This joint prize has been awarded biennially at the CSE meeting since 2003. The prize winner receives a certificate and a monetary award. Congratulations to Dr. Hughes, and now, hear a few words from the awardee himself!
Why are you excited to win this prize?
Almost my entire research career has been devoted to the development of computational methods used in engineering and science, so the SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering, which is the major distinction in the field, represents in many ways the culmination of my life’s work. It means a great deal to me to be selected by my peers from among numerous outstanding candidates. I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award.
What does your research mean to the public?
The methods and algorithms I have developed are used every day throughout the world to analyze and design better automobiles, consumer products, trains, airplanes, industrial processes, etc. My work touches virtually everything that is engineered and built. It is also used in hospitals and medical institutions to non-invasively diagnose disease and guide medical interventions, resulting in better patient outcomes at less cost and reduced risk.
What does being a SIAM member mean to you?
I am proud to be a member of SIAM. Its mission, to nurture industrial and applied mathematics, is something I strongly believe in, and is a perfect match to the pursuits of my entire career, which span mathematical analysis, the development of computational methods, and a large number of engineering and scientific applications.