Math in the News
Tapia and Varadhan Win 2011 National Science Medals
September 29, 2011
Awarded annually since 1959, the National Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.
Tapia (Rice University) was selected for the medal for pioneering and fundamental contributions in optimization theory and numerical analysis and for his dedication and effort in fostering diversity and excellence in mathematics and science education.
Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan (New York University) won for work in probability theory, especially on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has helped to make the field a cornerstone of pure and applied probability.
The two mathematicians will join other 2011 medal recipients at a White House ceremony later this year.
In an official statement from The White House, President Obama said, “Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place. Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face.”