Professor Ivo M. Babuska has been awarded a highly coveted lifetime achievement award from the American Mathematical Society (AMS).
Babuska, who joined the Cockrell School in 1995 and holds joint appointments in the school’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, the Institute for Computational Engineering and Science (ICES) and the Department of Mathematics, was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Presented annually by the AMS, the award is one of the highest distinctions in mathematics.
Babuska was honored "for his many pioneering advances in the numerical solution of partial differential equations over the last half century." The prize citation goes on to say: "In his work on finite element methods, Babuska has developed and applied mathematics in profound ways to develop, analyze, and validate algorithms which are crucial for computational science and engineering. In so doing, he has helped to define that field, and has had a great impact on the modern world. A constant characteristic of Babuska's work is the combination of deep and imaginative mathematical analysis with a constant concern for the practical implications of his work for engineering applications."
Babuska has received many honors and awards, including the Gauss-Newton Medal from the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics, and several honorary doctorates from various universities around the world. The asteroid 3060 is named Babuska in his honor. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.
An exceptionally productive author, collaborator, and mentor, Babuska has published more than 350 refereed journal articles and 26 books, has had nearly 150 co-authors and has advised 40 Ph.D. students.
The citation concludes: "Ivo M. Babuska is among the foremost numerical analysts of all time and a unique leader in applied mathematics. His many contributions have had a lasting impact on mathematics, engineering, science and industry."
AMS also recognized the contributions of mathematics professor and ICES faculty member Bjorn Engquist, who received the George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics. The award is given jointly from AMS and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
The Birkhoff Prize is awarded every three years for outstanding contributions to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense.