For release: IMMEDIATE (February 28, 2005)
THREE HONOURED FOR OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS
The Canadian Mathematical Society has selected Nassif Ghoussoub as the
recipient of the 2007 Jeffery-Williams Prize, Pauline van den Driessche as
the recipient of the 2007 Krieger-Nelson Prize and Jim Geelen as the winner
of the 2006 Coxeter-James Prize.
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CMS 2007 Jeffery-Williams Prize: Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub (University of British
Columbia)
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The Jeffery-Williams Prize recognizes mathematicians who have made outstanding
contributions to mathematical research. Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub is a leading
expert in partial differential equations, variational problems, and geometric
and nonlinear functional analysis. He is a prolific researcher of depth
and vision who has made a strong impact in each of these areas.
His seminal 1993 monograph "Duality and Perturbation Methods in Critical
Point Theory" introduced many ideas and methods from his own then-recent
work into the calculus of variations, including the far-reaching min-max
principle involving duality and a Morse theory "up to epsilon" to deal with
borderline variational problems. The influence of this book in the field,
and in particular on the recent advances in Hartree-Fock-Dirac theory by
Esteban and Sere and related problems in quantum chemistry by Lewin, can
hardly be overestimated.
Among the highlights of his one hundred papers is his resolution with Gui of
De Giorgi's Conjecture, a long-standing open problem, first with a complete
solution in dimension two, followed by major advances in dimensions up to five.
This work is described as a "magnificent breakthrough", involving original
ideas with other applications to the study of elliptic partial differential
equations.
Dr. Ghoussoub's work with Agueh and Kang on geometric inequalities is
described as a "gem". Using new ideas on the border between mathematical
physics and partial differential equations, they have developed a unified
framework for several important geometric inequalities based on a general
comparison principle between different states of interacting gases, and
discovered a remarkably encompassing energy-entropy duality formula.
Following his solution with Tzou of a 1976 conjecture of Brezis and Ekeland,
in recent years Dr. Ghoussoub has developed an innovative approach to
the calculus of variations. His self-dual variational principles exploit
algebraic symmetries of newly devised energy functionals to prove existence
results for a wide range of partial differential equations not covered by
standard Euler-Lagrange theory.
Dr. Ghoussoub received an undergraduate degree from the Lebanese University
of Beirut in 1973 and a doctorat d'état from Université Pierre et Marie
Curie in Paris in 1979. He joined the University of British Columbia
in 1977 and is now a Professor and a Distinguished University Scholar at
UBC, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta. He has been a
visiting professor at numerous universities in Europe and the United States.
He received the CMS Coxeter-James Prize in 1990 and an honorary doctorate
from Université Paris-Dauphine in 2004. He was made a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada in 1994.
His service to the Canadian mathematical community has been nothing short of
extraordinary. He is the founding director of the Pacific Institute for the
Mathematical Sciences, co-founder of the MITACS network, and a founder and
current Scientific Director of the Banff International Research Station.
He has been a Vice-President of the CMS and served on the NSERC Grant
Selection Committee and various editorial boards, including Editor-in-Chief
for the Canadian Journal of Mathematics.
Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub will present the 2007 Jeffery-Williams Prize Lecture
at the CMS Summer Meeting hosted by the University of Manitoba in June 2007.