The International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) has awarded its Pioneer Prize to Leslie Greengard, director of the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics. The prize recognizes pioneering contributions to applied mathematical methods and scientific computing techniques.
In its award announcement, the ICIAM lauded Greengard “for his pioneering work on fast algorithms including the fast multipole method (one of the top-ten algorithms of the 20th century), fast Gauss transform and fast direct solvers; and for the development of innovative high-order, automatically adaptive algorithms for differential and integral equations.”
The ICIAM is a society of societies, with its membership comprising professional applied mathematics organizations from around the world. The ICIAM awards its Pioneer Prize every four years at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Greengard has had an exemplary track record of advancing applied mathematics, particularly in the computational sciences. He joined the Simons Foundation in 2013 as the founding director of the Simons Center for Data Analysis, now the Center for Computational Biology at the Flatiron Institute. In 2018, he became the founding director of the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics.
Before arriving at the Simons Foundation, Greengard served as director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he has been a faculty member since 1989. Greengard holds an M.D. and Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, Greengard has contributed to the fields of scientific computing, data analysis and integral equations. One of his most significant scientific achievements, together with Vladimir Rokhlin, was the development of the Fast Multipole Method (FMM), a mathematical technique with an enormous range of applications, from chip simulation to molecular modeling. In 2000, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recognized the FMM as one of the top ten algorithms of the 20th century. In 2001, Greengard and Rokhlin received the Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research from the American Mathematical Society for their work.