The prize is presented at ECM.
The past winners:
- 2000: David C. Dobson, University of Utah, USA
- 2004: not awarded
- 2008: Josselin Garnier, University of Paris VII, France
The prize committee consists of six members appointed by agreement of the EMS and the Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern. Chair of the Felix Klein Prize Committee is Wil H.A. Schilders, TU Eindhoven, NL - the members will be known at the opening of the Congress.
Call for Nominations of Candidates for The Felix Klein Prize 2012
Nowadays, mathematics often plays the decisive role in finding solutions to numerous technical, economical and organizational problems. In order to encourage such solutions and to reward exceptional research in the area of applied mathematics the EMS decided, in October 1999, to establish the Felix Klein Prize.The mathematician Felix Klein (1849-1925) is generally acknowledged as a pioneer with regard to the close connection between mathematics and applications which lead to solutions to technical problems.
The Prize is to be awarded to a young scientist or a small group of young scientists (normally under the age of 38) for using sophisticated methods to give an outstanding solution, which meets with the complete satisfaction of industry, to a concrete and difficult industrial problem.
Nominations for the Award
The Prize Committee is responsible for solicitation and the evaluation of nominations. Nominations can be made by anyone, including members of the Prize Committee and candidates themselves. It is the responsibility of the nominator to provide all relevant information to the Prize Committee, including a résumé and documentation of the benefit to industry and the mathematical method used. The nomination for the award must be accompanied by a written justification and a citation of about 100 words that can be read at the award date. The prize is awarded to a single person or to a small group and cannot be split.
Description of the Award
The award comprises a certificate including the citation and a cash prize of 5000 Euro.
The money for the Prize fund is offered by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern.
The Prize will be presented at the Sixth European Congress of Mathematics in Krakow by a representative of the endowing Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern or by the President of the European Mathematical Society. The recipient will be invited to present his or her work at the congress.
Deadline for Submission
Nominations for the prize should be addressed to the chairman of the Prize Committee, Professor Wil Schilders (Technical University Eindhoven). The nomination letter must reach the EMS office at the following address, not later than December 31, 2011.
Ms. Terhi Hautala
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
P.O.Box 68 (Gustaf Hällströmink. 2b)
00014 University of Helsinki
Chairman of the Felix Klein Prize Committee
Prof. dr. W.H.A. Schilders
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
PO Box 513
5600 MD Eindhoven
Phone: +31-40-2472753 (secretary)
Taken from the EMS newsletter, Dec. 1999
Why A Felix Klein Prize?
Nowadays, mathematics plays an ever greater role - often the decisive role - in finding solutions to numerous technical, economical and organizational problems. In order to encourage such solutions and to reward exceptional research in the area of applied mathematics the EMS decided, in October 1999, to establish the Felix Klein Prize.
The mathematician Felix Klein (1849-1925) is generally acknowledged as a pioneer with regard to the close connection between mathematics and applications which lead to solutions to technical problems. Klein's success in his efforts to open up modern mathematical methods and theories to wider circles was based on his international reputation as a renowned mathematician. His contributions to pure mathematics include not only the well-known systematization of geometrical fields in his "Erlanger Programm'' (1872) but covered nearly all fields of mathematics. These contributions were collected in three volumes in his "Gesammelte Mathematische Abhandlungen'' (1921-1923). David Hilbert (1862- 1943), whom Klein supported and whose call to Göttingen he arranged in 1895, was impressed with Klein's striking geometrical perception. Hilbert emphasized Klein's outstanding results in the area of automorphic functions and the scientific vision that was evident in the undertaking "Encyklopdie der mathematischen Wissenschaften mit Einschluss ihrer Anwendungen'' (1895-1935), a comprehensive work of international authorship. When the Berlin mathematicians - who over a long period had remained sceptical of Klein's application-oriented endeavours - elected him as corresponding member to the Berlin Academy of Science in 1913, their election recommendation stated: "Klein [is] one of the few mathematicians who is still capable of an overall view of mathematics'', (full citation in Tobies 1999).
Klein was aware that abstract-oriented, pure mathematics was in danger of becoming isolated. In the 1890s engineers and technicians, who lamented a mathematical education which was remote from practicality, set in motion an anti-mathematics movement. In order to change the public image of mathematics and create greater awareness for the usefulness of modern mathematical methods, Klein not only turned his own research to applied mathematics and application-oriented themes, but also smoothed the way for others with diverse measures. His valuable results on the application of mathematics was aptly described by Richard von Mises (1883-1953), founder of the journal "Zeitschrift für angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik'', thus:
"A good part of [Klein's] work on linear differential equations must be counted here [...]: for the main part they are concerned with so-called oscillation theories, which are crucial to problems of stability and eigenfrequencies of mechanical (and other) systems. A few treatises deal with questions relating to geometrical optics, [such as] the theory of refraction in optical instruments. It is within various areas of mechanics, however, that Klein has ventured deepest into applied areas. He succeeded in promoting the kinematics of rigid bodies by developing English research which was virtually unknown in Germany at the time, (Robert Ball, definition of spiral or "dyname'') [...] and he searched for related areas in "technical mechanics'', i.e. direct solutions to real-world problems [...]. The outstanding teaching material originating from the lectures in Göttingen by Klein and Sommerfeld on the theory of rigid bodies reaches [...] into technical problems dealing with gyroscopes and gyro-compasses, yawing of vessels, etc. Together with K. Wieghardt, Klein published a theory of stresses in plane-truss assemblies based on an imaginative combination of Maxwellian reciprocal figures and Airy stress functions - a theory which has proved its fruitfulness up until present times for dealing with problems occurring in the statics of structures.''
However, in order to bring about change, it was not sufficient for Klein alone to yield up research results. Numerous and diverse scientific measures were necessary to activate the - in Germany - longneglected-
areas of applied mathematics. Around the turn of the century, Klein succeeded, together with many allies, in bringing about much improved conditions for the development of applied mathematics.
One of these developments was a new examination curriculum which was passed in 1898 and which introduced and regulated -- for the first time at a Prussian university - the teaching of applied mathematics. The course programme included a choice of core subjects in descriptive geometry, geodesy, and technical mechanics (kinematics, graphical statics). The number of subjects was extended in following years to include numerical and graphical methods, insurance mathematics and statistics, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics. The advent of such specialized teaching in applied mathematics made the establishment of corresponding subject areas necessary and eventually led to the creation of the first professorships in Germany in applied mathematics. Not only was Klein successful in convincing government ministeries, he also gained support for his plans from heads of industry. Within the framework of the "Göttinger Vereinigung zur Frderung der angewandten Physik und Mathematik'' affluent circles supported Klein's endeavours with over 2 million Goldmarks between 1898 and 1920.
The decision to produce a journal devoted to applied mathematics a further element of Klein's programme. For this, in 1900 the - already existing - "Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik'' was transformed and became what is acclaimed as the precursor of the "Zeitschrift für angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik''. In order to change the public image of mathematics it was not sufficient to limit activities to the universities. Klein strived in an international context - in 1908 at the IV International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome, he was elected as chairman of the International Commission of Mathematical Instruction - for a reform of the teaching of mathematics "from primary school to university''. Special emphasis was place on nurturing close relations between high-level science and perspicuous, applications-oriented mathematics. The fact that the group of Göttingen's mathematicians achieved international renown was due, in a great measure, to Klein's programme to develop mathematics in all directions and enable results of pure mathematical research to flow into applied areas combining the interests of academe and industry. Klein implemented an adroit appointment policy (David Hilbert, Ludwig Prandtl and Carl Runge) to achieve an ideal balance in the combination of theory, application and numerical mathematics. Close co-operation between scientists and their students produced valuable contributions for the development of mathematics and its applications.
Scientists who can prove, in a prominent and commendable way, that mathematical theory and mathematical models lead to practical solutions of problems, and who thereby contribute to and influence the future growth of the mutual stimulation of theory and practice, are following in the footsteps of Felix Klein and are worthy candidates and eligible for the award of the Felix Klein Prize.
Author: Dr. Renate Tobies, Dept. of Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern, habilitated in the History
of Mathematics and has published five books, three of which include material on Felix Klein, and a
number of essays.
Translation: A. Rast-Margerison