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Mathematics Professor Receives Major Award from Italian Mathematical Union

Mathematics Professor Receives Major Award from Italian Mathematical Union

Alessio Figalli, a professor in the Department of Mathematics, will be only the second mathematician in the U.S. ever to receive the Stampacchia Gold Medal from the Italian Mathematical Union.

Ovidiu Savin, the first U.S.-based recipient of the same award, three years ago, received a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. 

The international award, named after Italian mathematician Guido Stampacchia, is given once every three years to mathematicians aged 35 years or younger who have had a major impact on the field of Calculus of Variations and its related applications. 

"Calculus of variations is a branch of mathematics dealing with the optimization of physical quantities, such as time, area, or distance," Figalli explained. Applications include achieving maximum lift from an airplane wing, building stronger dams or designing sports equipment with minimal air resistance. 

One of Figalli's main areas of focus has been the optimal transport problem, an attempt to find the most economical way to transport and distribute goods or resources. Recently, his work has been applied in meteorology to describe how clouds evolve over time. Figalli and colleagues have made significant contributions that could contribute to improved models of complex climate phenomena. 

The Italian Mathematical Union noted that the award was in recognition of Figalli's "outstanding contributions to mathematics, showing an amazing fecundity of ideas and an extremely large arsenal of mathematical techniques and expertise." The medal will be awarded to Figalli on August 29th at the opening ceremonies of the International Workshop on Variational Analysis and Applications in Erice, Italy.

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Saturday, 23 September 2017

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