MEDIA RELEASE — Mar 23, 2010

Canadian Mathematical Society

Mar 23, 2010


Bálint Virág to Receive CMS 2010 Coxeter-James Prize for Research Excellence

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Bálint Virág from the University of Toronto is the recipient of the 2010 Coxeter-James Prize in recognition of an outstanding research contribution by a young mathematician. Bálint Virág will receive his award at the Society’s June 4-6, 2010 Summer Meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The Coxeter-James Prize was inaugurated to recognize young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research. The first award was presented in 1978. The award is named, in part, for Donald Coxeter, the seventh CMS President who is considered one of the great geometers of the 20th century. The award is also named, in part, after Ralph Duncan James, the fifth CMS President who diligently promoted the development of mathematics.

In announcing the award, Tony Lau, President of the CMS, noted that “As a relatively young probabilist, Bálint Virág has produced significant high quality research. This award recognizes the research excellence of his substantive early career research contribution to the area of probability.”

“Bálint Virág is a prime example of a young mathematician who is making a real impact on mathematics,” noted David Brydges, Chair of the CMS Research Committee. “Even as a graduate student, Bálint Virág produced important work in probability theory in the domain of random walks. Today he is part of an active and notable probability and statistics research group at the University of Toronto, whose distinguished researchers include Radford Neal and Jeff Rosenthal.”

Bálint Virág is well known for his research on random walks, random matrices, random polynomials, and probabilistic methods in group theory, in each of which he has made fundamental contributions. He has elucidated the structure of an important new class of point processes called determinantal processes. Recently, he initiated an ambitious and already very successful program to understand the asymptotics of eigenvalue ensembles through limiting random Schrodinger operators.

He is an exciting and highly sought after speaker, for example, at the recent Current Developments in Mathematics conference at Harvard. He is also the recipient of a Sloan Fellowship and the Rollo Davidson Prize for young probabilists.

Professor Bálint Virág was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1973 and received his B.A. in mathematics at Harvard in 1996. He received his Ph. D at Berkeley working on random walks on graphs of exponential growth; his advisor was Yuval Peres. After his degree, he held a C.L.E. Moore instructorship at MIT. He has held the Canada Research Chair in Probability at the University of Toronto since 2003 where he has developed a lively working group and seminar.

For more information, contact:

Dr. David Brydges, Chair
CMS Research Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC
Tel: (604) 822-3620
or Dr. Anthony To-Ming Lau, President
Canadian Mathematical Society
Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
Tel: (780) 492-3396

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.