SIAM News Blog

U.S. National Academies Elect New Members

Among the most important honors accorded to scientists and engineers in the U.S. is election to the National Academies of Engineering and Sciences. The National Academies were created (NAS in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln; NAE in 1964) to advise the federal government in matters of science and technology. At their annual meetings, each announces the names of newly elected members. Distinguished members of the SIAM community appear regularly on both lists, and 2015 is no exception.

New members of NAE, announced in February, include Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University. Cited “for contributions to the mathematics and applications of wavelets,” research for which she is well known in SIAM circles, Daubechies has made works of art a recent focus of her research. These efforts include the development and use of a new method for the virtual restoration of digital paintings, such as the Ghent Altarpiece of 1432.

NAE recognized Michael Todd, Leon C. Welch Professor in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University “for contributions to the theory and application of algorithms for continuous optimization.” His research interests are in algorithms for linear and convex programming, particularly semidefinite programming and ellipsoid optimization. He also works in the development and analysis of interior-point methods. A longtime editor of SIAM Journal on Optimization (1997-2007), he is also a former chair of the SIAG on Optimization (2011-2014).

David Srolovitz is the inaugural Joseph Bordogna Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of several departments, including Materials Science, and is co-chair of the organizing committee for SIAM’s 2016 Conference on Mathematical Aspects of Materials Science.

David D. Yao, Piyasombatkul Family Professor and professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University, was cited “for understanding of stochastic systems and their applications in engineering and service operations.”

Elected a foreign associate of NAE was Martin Vetterli, a professor of communication systems at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne; he was cited “for development of time-frequency representations and algorithms in multimedia signal processing and communications.”

New members of the National Academy of Sciences, announced this spring, include Donald Geman, Alan Hastings, and Moshe Vardi. Geman, a professor of applied mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, offers an appealing introduction to his main research interests (computational vision and computational medicine) on his website. Hastings is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis; his research interests include mathematical biology, with a focus on theoretical ecology and population biology. Vardi is a professor of computer science at Rice University, where he is also director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology. In 2015 he was named a SIAM fellow.

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