Past News

Agnes Szanto 1966-2022

Agnes Szanto

Our dear colleague Agnes Szanto passed away on March 21st 2022, at the age of 55, succumbing to lymphoma.

Agnes was a Professor in the Mathematics Department at North Carolina State University where she was an active member of the Symbolic Computation group. She was a passionate and creative researcher concerned with the development and analysis of symbolic and numerical algorithms for problems in algebra, and a devoted teacher and mentor.

Furthermore Agnes was particularly committed to our FoCM society, where she served as chair from 2017-2020, and as the treasurer and a member of the board for long periods before that. She was also the main organizer of the unforgettable FoCM 2011 Conference in Budapest. Most recently, already seriously sick, she still participated in the organization of the 2021 FoCM Online Seminar.

In addition, she was Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry from 2016-2017 and put a lot of work through years into the organization of the International Symposia on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation (ISSAC). She also served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Symbolic Computation.

Agnes was a generous and thoughtful friend and colleague, enthusiastically committed to the community and especially interested in supporting women mathematicians and working to make their accomplishments known. She was an extraordinary person and an inspiring role model. We will deeply miss her kindness and positive energy.

We join her family in mourning this devastating loss.

Conference in honor of Teresa Krick

Teresa Krick

The conference in honor of Teresa Krick will be held in hybrid format in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 13-15, 2021. Professor Krick, from the university of Buenos Aires, has done many important contributions in computational algebraic geometry and has served the FoCM Society since its very beginning, in particular as chair in the period 2011-2014 and currently as managing editor of the JoFoCM. If you plan to attend any of the talks even online, please register here.

Endre Süli elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Endre Süli

Endre Süli, Professor of Numerical Analysis at the University of Oxford, has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2021. His work is concerned with the analysis of numerical algorithms for partial differential equations and with the mathematical analysis of nonlinear partial differential equations in continuum mechanics. He is editor of JoFoCM and he was previously member of the board of FoCM and plenary speaker at the 2005 FoCM conference.

Alicia Dickenstein receives the 2021 L'Oréal-Unesco International Award For Women in Science

Alicia Dickenstein

Every year, the Fondation L'Oréal and UNESCO celebrate the scientific excellence of five eminent women scientists, each from a major region of the world. Professor Alicia Dickenstein, of the University of Buenos Aires, was recognized for her outstanding contributions at the forefront of mathematical innovation by leveraging algebraic geometry in the field of molecular biology. Her research enables scientists to understand the precise structures and behavior of cells and molecules, even at a microscopic scale. Operating at the frontier between pure and applied mathematics, she has forged important links to physics and chemistry, and enabled biologists to gain an in-depth structural understanding of biochemical reactions and enzymatic networks.

Peter Clarkson is awarded a Senior Anne Bennett Prize by the London Mathematical Society

Peter Clarkson

Professor Peter Clarkson, of the University of Kent, is awarded a Senior Anne Bennett Prize in recognition of his tireless work to support gender equality in UK mathematics, and particularly for his leadership in developing good practice among departments of mathematical sciences.

Albert Cohen received the 2020 Blaise Pascal Medal in Mathematics

Albert Cohen

The European Academy of Sciences established the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2003 to recognise an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to science and technology and the promotion of excellence in research and education. Up to six medals may be awarded in any one year. The award ceremony will be in October, 2020.

The Ninth Vasil A. Popov Prize was awarded to Danylo V. Radchenko

Danylo V. Radchenko

Danylo V. Radchenko was recognized for his outstanding contributions to Approximation Theory, in particular, to the theory of spherical designs. Together with Andriy V. Bondarenko and Maryna S. Viazovska he settled a long-standing conjecture by Korevaar and Meyers on optimal asymptotic bounds for spherical t-designs. Later, in a joint paper with H. Cohn, A. Kumar, S. D. Miller and M. S. Viazoska they proved the optimality of the Leech lattice among all 24-dimensional sphere packings. Danylo Radchenko has also contributed to the Theory of Shape Preserving Approximation and to Non-uniform Sampling Theory in relation with Fourier Analysis. Parallel to Approximation Theory, he has been working in Number Theory, in particular, on Dedekind zeta functions and on cross-ratios related to the work of Goncharov.

The Prize, which consists of a marble pyramid trophy and a cash award of 2000 euros, will be presented to Radchenko by Albert Cohen of Sorbonne Université, Chair of the Popov Prize Selection Committee. The other members of the Selection Committee were Wolfgang Dahmen, Karlheinz Grochenig, Pencho Petrushev, Peter Oswald, and Vilmos Totik. The Popov Prize awarding ceremony initially scheduled at the FoCM 2020 Conference in Vancouver has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Danylo V. Radchenko holds a Hermann-Weyl-Instructor position at the Institute for Mathematical Research of ETH Zurich. He received his PhD in July 2016 from University of Bonn, under the supervision of Don Zagier.

More info:

Alicia Dickenstein and Kristin E. Lauter are honored as 2020 SIAM Fellows

Alicia Dickenstein

Alicia Dickenstein, Universidad de Buenos Aires and CONICET, is being recognized for contributions to algebraic geometry and its applications within geometric modeling and in the study of biochemical reaction networks. She was a plenary speaker at FoCM '08 in Hong Kong

Kristin Lauter

Kristin E. Lauter, Microsoft Research, is being recognized for the development of practical cryptography and for leadership in the mathematical community. She is scheduled to be a plenary speaker at our next FoCM conference in Vancouver.

Afonso Bandeira awarded 2020 Smale Prize

Alfonso Bandeira

Professor Afonso Bandeira, ETH Zurich, has been awarded the fourth Stephen Smale Prize for his pioneering work on the foundation of computational mathematics. Bandeira is an incredibly productive and versatile researcher who has successfully applied and combined concepts and tools from optimization theory, probability theory, information theory, statistics, theoretical computer science, harmonic analysis, and number theory to the design and analysis of algorithms for solving real life data science problems.

Highlights of his theoretical results include a new type of Cheeger inequality for the graph connection Laplacian (with D. Spielman and A. Singer), a remarkable theorem about an important class of Gaussian random matrices (with R. Van Handel), a variant of the “little” Grothendieck theorem for the orthogonal group (with C. Kennedy and A. Singer), guarantees for the Burer-Monteiro factorization of SDPs (with N. Boumal and V. Voroninski), lower bounds on the sample complexity of multi-reference alignment (with A. Perry, J. Weed, P. Rigollet, and A. Singer), and new understanding of computational-to-statistical gaps (with A. Perry and A. Wein).

Bandeira employed these theorems to advance our understanding of fundamental algorithms for data analysis. The applications include cryo-electron microscopy, community detection in networks, and phase retrieval. A beautiful example is his paper (with E. Abbe and G. Hall) that proves optimal bounds for exact recovery for graph clustering in the stochastic block model and derives an efficient SDP recovery algorithm that achieves the optimal bound.

Bandeira’s work spans a wide range of applications and delivers essential insights in multiple fields. It signals a very productive and talented individual with a breadth of vision that Stephen Smale exemplified.

The winner will receive a "Gömböc" as the prize insignia.

Mark Braverman - 2019 NSF Waterman Awardee

Mark Baverman

Mark Braverman, Princeton University Professor of Computer Science, has been named a recipient of the Alan T. Waterman Award for his work "devoted to developing algorithms and designs that can withstand the effects of ubiquitous noise present in all learning and computational tasks." Professor Braverman is also a recipient of FoCM's 2014 Stephen Smale Prize.

Wolfgang Dahmen is honored as 2019 SIAM Fellow

Wofgang Dahmen

Wolfgang Dahmen is SmartState Endowed Chair in Data Analysis, Simulation, Imaging, and Visualization; Williams-Hedberg-Hedberg Chair in Mathematics at the University of South Carolina. He was the Chair of the FoCM Society between 2014-17.

FoCM 2020 Conference Location: Vancouver, Canada


Cancelled or postponed until further notice

Web site:

Lek-Heng Lim from University of Chicago and Volker Mehrmann from TU Berlin
are 2019 Hans Schneider prize recipients.

Lek-Heng Lim and Volker Mehrmann

The Hans Schneider Prize in Linear Algebra is awarded every three years by The International Linear Algebra Society for research, contributions, and achievements at the highest level of Linear Algebra. The Prize may be awarded for an outstanding scientific achievement or for lifetime contribution.

Jiawang Nie wins the 2018 SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra Best Paper Prize

Jiawang Nie

for his paper, Generating Polynomials and Symmetric Tensor Decompositions, Foundations of Computational Mathematics 17(2): 423-465 (2017)

Jiawang Nie graduated in UC Berkeley under the supervision of Bernd Sturmfels and James Demmel in 2006. He is now on the faculty at UCSD (

For more information, see


The Le Monde published the best scientific pictures from the year 2017: Link


Among these, the computational realization of the Nash C^1 embedding theorem by Borrelli et al. published in the Journal of FoCM, July 10, 2017: Link

Le Monde also published a longer article about this result earlier in 2017 (in French): Link

The Catalan Math Society has set up a prize for papers on Dynamical Systems,
sponsored by Carles Simó:


The last edition of the prize was given to the authors of a paper published at the FoCM Journal:
Jordi-Lluís Figueras, Àlex Haro and Alejandro Luque, "Rigorous Computer Assisted Application of KAM Theory: A Modern Approach", Found Comput Math (2016).


Interview with Mireille Bousquet-Mélou

Mireille Bousquet Melou Photo

The European Mathematical Society Newsletter published an interview with Mireille Bousquet-Mélou, written by Juanjo Rué. The interview took place at the FoCM 2017 Conference at the Universitat de Barcelona.

Link to interview  


Bernd Sturmfels to Receive 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics

Bernd Sturmfels

Bernd Sturmfels, University of California, Berkeley, will receive the 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics for his instrumental role in creating the field of applied algebraic geometry.

Bernd Sturmfels has made foundational contributions to combinatorics, algebraic geometry, and symbolic computation, and has introduced algebraic techniques to numerous areas of applied mathematics including bioinformatics, computer vision, optimization, and statistics. Like Birkhoff, the intellectual range of his work stretches from pure mathematics to the very applied, and demonstrates the unity of mathematics. In addition, he is an exceptional expositor, a wonderful teacher, and a dedicated mentor to young mathematicians.

Bernd is a founding member of the SIAM Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry, the editor in chief of the SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry, and an active member of the FoCM Society.


Lek-Heng Lim wins SIAM'S Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing

Lek-Heng Kim

The Prize was awarded at the 2017 SIAM Annual Meeting.
Lek-Heng Lim is also the recipient of the 2017 Smale Prize.



Pierre Lairez wins the SIAM Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry Early Career Prize

Pierre Lairez

Pierre Lairez wins the SIAM Activity Group on Algebraic Geometry Early Career Prize, in recognition of his paper A Deterministic Algorithm to Compute Approximate Roots of Polynomial Systems in Polynomial Average Time, which represents the final step in the resolution of Smale’s 17th problem.

Lek-Heng Lim wins the Smale Prize 2017.

Lek-Heng Kim

The winner of the third Stephen Smale prize is Lek-Heng Lim, University of Chicago. The third Stephen Smale Prize was awarded at the Conference on the Foundations of Computational Mathematics (FoCM 2017) at Barcelona, between July 10th - 19th, 2017.

More information and prize rules can be found here.

Angela Kunoth

Angela Kunoth became Editor-in-Chief of the SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis (SINUM)

Agnes Szanto

Agnes Szanto has been elected chair of the SIAM activity group in Algebraic Geometry

Annalisa Buffa wins the ICIAM Collatz Prize 2015

Annalisa Buffa

The award will be made at the Opening Ceremony of the International Congress for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, ICIAM 2015, to be held 10–14 August 2015 in Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Click to visit the web site

Carlos Beltrán and Mark Braverman win the Smale Prize 2014

Montevideo, Uruguaye

Click to visit Smale Prize page

The Prize is awarded by the Society for the Foundations of Computational Mathematics to young researchers in recognition of major achievements in furthering the understanding of the connections between mathematics and computation, including the interfaces between pure and applied mathematics, numerical analysis and computer science.

The award will be made on December 13, 2014,
at the FoCM’14 conference.


Carlos Beltrán

Carlos Beltrán, University of Cantabria, is one of the two recipients of the Smale Prize 2014 for his brilliant contributions to fundamental problems in the foundations of computational mathematics. Beltrán’s work embodies original approaches that combine the use of complex geometric structure and analytic power to make important progress on problems which have been the focus of intense research efforts by others. An important part of his work has been devoted to polynomial system solving, producing with Luis M. Pardo a Las Vegas algorithm for Smale's 17th problem, and studying the underlying geometry with Mike Shub and others. His work on producing equidistributed points on the sphere defines the state of the art on Smale's 7th problem. With Anton Leykin he has provided tools to adapt numerical methods to supply proofs in algebraic geometry. In addition, his work with Oscar González and Ignacio Santamaría on interference alignment (solving a problem in information theory, open for more than 10 years) is also a milestone.


Mark Braverman

Mark Braverman, Princeton University, is one of the two recipients of the Smale Prize 2014 for his pioneering work on the foundations of computational mathematics. Braverman has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of computability and complexity questions involving both continuous and discrete systems. In particular, his joint work with Michael Yampolsky showed how to apply deep and modern techniques of complex analysis and dynamics to classify Julia sets according to their computability and complexity. Concerning discrete problems, in a series of papers Braverman and his collaborators have shown how to apply Shannon's information theory to settle central open questions in communication complexity, including proving lower bounds on the ability of linear programs to approximate NP complete problems. He also developed surprising techniques from harmonic analysis to finally prove the Linial-Nisan Conjecture, and disproved, with collaborators, an old conjecture of Krivine.

Call for nominations The Stephen Smale Prize

Staphen Smale

Click to visit Smale Prize page

Nominations should be sent before midnight of March 10, 2014 (GMT)
to FoCM secretary Antonella Zanna at:

Arieh Iserles wins the 2014 SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession

Arieh Iserles

The award will be made at the
2014 SIAM Annual Meeting.

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013

More than a hundred scientific societies, universities, research institutes, and organizations all over the world have banded together to dedicate 2013 as a special year for the Mathematics of Planet Earth.

Our planet is the setting for dynamic processes of all sorts, including the geophysical processes in the mantle, the continents, and the oceans, the atmospheric processes that determine our weather and climates, the biological processes involving living species and their interactions, and the human processes of finance, agriculture, water, transportation, and energy. The challenges facing our planet and our civilization are multidisciplinary and multifaceted, and the mathematical sciences play a central role in the scientific effort to understand and to deal with these challenges.

Click to visit the site:

Arieh Iserles wins the 2012 David Crighton Medal

Arieh Iserles

The 2012 David Crighton Medal was awarded jointly to Professor Arieh Iserles, University of Cambridge and Dr Peter Neumann OBE, University of Oxford. It will be presented at a joint meeting of the IMA and the LMS on the evening of 14 March 2013 at the Royal Society, followed by lectures from Dr Neumann and Professor Iserles. The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the London Mathematical Society instituted the David Crighton Medal in 2002. The medal is awarded triennially with the first award in 2003. It is awarded to a mathematician who is normally resident in the mathematical community represented by the two organisations for services both to mathematics and to the mathematical community. Previous winners include John M. Ball and Christopher Zeeman.

 Click to see the Newsletter

Jean Pierre Dedieu 1949 - 2012

Jean Pierre Dedieu.jpg

Jean-Pierre Dedieu died on June 15, 2012 at the still young age of 62. He was a very active member of FoCM beginning with the Park City meeting in 1995 and was currently a member of our Board of Directors and a book review editor of our Journal. The cause of death was complications from a bone marrow transplant which he needed as a result of a long  battle with blood cancer. Jean-Pierre was in many ways a sweet and terrific person. We miss him dearly.


A conference in honor of the 60th birthday of Peter Olver

Peter Oliver

Symmetries of Differential Equations: Frames, Invariants and Applications

A conference in honor of the 60th birthday of Peter Olver
May 17-19, 2012 (Thursday-Saturday)

School of Mathematics,
University of Minnesota

Click to see conference web site



A conference celebrating the work of Mike Shub

Peter Oliver

From Dynamics to Complexity

A conference celebrating the work of Mike Shub
May 07-11, 2012
Fields Institute, Toronto

Click to see conference web site