# Five Berkeley Lab Mathematicians among First Group of Fellows Named by Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

May 1, 2009

**Contact: Jon Bashor, CSnews@lbl.gov**

BERKELEY, Calif.—Five renowned mathematicians—John Bell, Alexandre Chorin, Phillip Colella, James Demmel and James Sethian—at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are among the first group of Fellows announced May 1 by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

The Fellows program was announced by SIAM in 2008 in part “to honor SIAM members who are recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the discipline.” SIAM is an international organization of professionals with an interest in mathematics and computational science and their applications. SIAM’s mission is to build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology through its publications, research, and community. Incorporated in 1952 as a non-profit organization, SIAM today is an international society of more than 12,000 individual members and represents applied and computational mathematicians, computer scientists, and various other scientists and engineers.

To be eligible for nomination as a SIAM Fellow, candidates are expected to have been a member of the profession for at least fifteen years. Research excellence is one criterion for selection but it is not meant to be the only one. The Fellows program is also intended to recognize excellence in industrial work (that might or might not involve traditional research), excellence in educational activities that reach a broad audience, or other forms of excellence directly related to the goals of SIAM.

“Having five of our best-known mathematicians included in the first class of SIAM Fellows is a well-deserved recognition of both their individual accomplishments and the overall excellence of the applied math program at Berkeley Lab,” said Horst Simon, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences at LBNL.

Much of the Berkeley Lab SIAM Fellows’ research is funded through DOE’s Office of Science and its Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) Applied Mathematics Research program and the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program.

## Here are short descriptions of the accomplishments of the Berkeley Lab SIAM Fellows:

John Bell is leader of the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering at LBNL. Bell is well known for his contributions in the areas of finite difference methods, numerical methods for low Mach number flows, adaptive mesh refinement, interface tracking, and parallel computing and the application of these numerical methods to problems from a broad range of fields including combustion, shock physics, seismology, flow in porous media, and astrophysics. In 2005 he was awarded the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering’s (IEEE) Sidney Fernbach Award “for outstanding contributions to the development of numerical algorithms, mathematical, and computational tools and on the application of those methods to conduct leading-edge scientific investigations in combustion, fluid dynamics, and condensed matter." In 2003, Bell and fellow SIAM Fellow Phillip Colella were co-recipients of the 2003 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering, awarded by SIAM and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for “outstanding contributions to the development and use of mathematical and computational tools and methods for the solution of science and engineering problems.”

Phillip Colella, leader of the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. The principal focus of Colella’s current work is the development of new simulation software tools for multiscale problems in science and engineering. In addition to sharing the 2003 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering, Colella was the 1998 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's Sidney Fernbach Award “for fundamental contributions in the development of software methodologies used to solve numerical partial differential equations, and their application to substantially expand our understanding of shock physics and other fluid dynamics problems.”

Alexandre Chorin, a founding member of Berkeley Lab's Mathematics Department and a professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley, is regarded by his colleagues as one of the great applied mathematicians of the 20th century. In 2002 he was honored with the title of University Professor by the Regents of the University of California, a title reserved for scholars of international distinction who are also recognized and respected as exceptional teachers. Chorin specializes in scientific computing, numerical analysis, and computational methods of statistical mechanics, though his true love is the most difficult problem of applied mathematics: turbulence — the chaotic eddies and currents in any fluid that are hard to study experimentally and harder still to calculate mathematically. Chorin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his honors is the NAS Award in Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis. He has previously been recognized for his academic talents by being named Chancellor’s Professor of Mathematics and has been elected by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate as a Campus Research Lecturer. In 2000, SIAM and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) honored Chorin with the 2000 Norbert Wiener Prize, “in recognition of his seminal work in computational fluid dynamics, statistical mechanics, and turbulence. His work has stimulated important developments across the entire spectrum from practical engineering applications to convergence proofs for numerical methods....”

James Demmel is the Dr. Richard Carl Dehmel Distinguished Professor at UC Berkeley, where he holds a joint appointment in the Computer Science Division and Mathematics Department. He is also a member of Berkeley Lab's Scientific Computing Group. He is well known for his work in developing LAPACK, the Linear Algebra PACKage for high performance workstations and shared memory parallel computers; ScaLAPACK, the Scalable Linear Algebra PACKage for high performance distributed memory parallel computers; and SuperLU, a library of implementations of sparse Gaussian elimination for high performance parallel machines. Demmel was the founding Chief Scientist of CITRIS (the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society), a public-private partnership created to develop information technology solutions for many of our most pressing social, environmental and healthcare problems. Demmel is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of IEEE and ACM. Among his other awards is a Presidential Young Investigator Award.

James Sethian is head of the Mathematics Group at Berkeley Lab and a professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley. He is well known for his research in the fields of fast marching methods and level set methods, which are numerical techniques which can follow the evolution of interfaces. The techniques have a wide range of applications, including problems in fluid mechanics, combustion, manufacturing computer chips, computer animation, image processing, structure of growing crystalline forms and the shape of minimal surfaces. His work has influenced fields as diverse as medical imaging, seismic research by the petroleum industry, and the manufacture of computer chips and desktop printers. In 2008 Sethian was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and cited for the development of efficient methods of tracking moving interfaces.” He was awarded the Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics in 2004 by SIAM and AMS “for his seminal work on the computer representation of the motion of curves, surfaces, interfaces, and wave fronts, and for his brilliant applications of mathematical and computational ideas to problems in science and engineering.”

For a full list of the 2009 SIAM fellows, please click here.

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