ASU mathematicians receive international prize for research contributions

By

Rebecca Howe

Arizona State University professor Sergei Suslov and Regents’ Professor Carlos Castillo-Chavez have been awarded the Leonhard Euler Prize 2014.

The award, given by the International Society of Difference Equations and Discrete Dynamical Systems, recognizes stellar research by a mathematician or theoretical physicist in areas that span the contributions of pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler. The awards were presented at the European Advanced Studies Conference, Symposium on Differential and Difference Equations, in Homburg, Germany, on Sept. 6.

Castillo-Chavez and Suslov were joined by the seven other international recipients of the prize, all of whom were recognized for their distinguished research contributions in the interface between mathematical sciences and the natural and social sciences.

Suslov, faculty in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was previously recognized by ASU for his mathematics accomplishments and mentoring as one of the five 2011 Professors of the Year.

Castillo-Chavez’s lifetime contributions to mathematical biology were previously recognized by his 2010 Presidential appointment to the Committee on the National Medal of Science and his 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He is currently the executive director of the Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center and faculty in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

The Leonhard Euler Prize has only been awarded once before, in 2007, to professor Allen Peterson of the University of Nebraska. The award has been mentioned in the international community since then, and interest in the award has grown. Due to the international interest, an independent committee was formed to evaluate individuals with the scientific directions influenced by the work of Euler. The independent committee focused on honoring those who have significantly influenced the wide field of mathematical and theoretical physics.

Euler is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, and has made significant contributions to modern mathematics. He made revolutionary contributions in the fields of geometry, trigonometry, calculus, complex analysis, differential equations and number theory. He introduced much of the mathematical notation in use today, including the utilization of pi, ln, e and f(x). Euler's Identity, exp(i*pi) = -1, is often cited as an example of mathematical beauty. His remarkable work also focused on the fields of astronomy/lunar motion, acoustics, mechanics, optics and music.

The main goals of the International Society of Difference Equations and Discrete Dynamical Systems are to lend support to researchers in difference equations from developing countries, and to promote difference equations and discrete dynamical systems as one of the fundamental subjects in mathematics.

Preston Swan, preston.swan@asu.edu
Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center