MEDIA RELEASE — Feb 25, 2010

Canadian Mathematical Society

Feb 25, 2010


Rachel Kuske to Receive CMS 2011 Krieger-Nelson Prize for Research Excellence

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Rachel Kuske from the University of British Columbia is the recipient of the 2011 Krieger-Nelson Prize in recognition of her outstanding research contribution. Professor Kuske will receive her award in 2011 at the Society’s Summer Meeting.

The Krieger-Nelson Prize was inaugurated in 1995 by the CMS to recognize female mathematicians who have made an outstanding contribution to mathematical research. The award is named after Cecelia Krieger, the first woman to earn a mathematics doctorate from a Canadian university, and Evelyn Nelson, an ardent researcher, referee, and reviewer.

In announcing the award, Tony Lau, President of the CMS, noted that “Professor Kuske is one of Canada's leading applied mathematicians and has also become an acknowledged expert and innovator in the field of mathematics education. While this award recognizes her research excellence, at the same time it acknowledges her passion for mathematics education.”

“As a researcher, Rachel Kuske has made important contributions to the study of ordinary, stochastic, and partial differential equation models for a wide range of applications including neuroscience, mathematical biology, buckling under compression, mathematical finance, and hydraulic-fracture mechanics.” noted David Brydges, Chair of the CMS Research Committee.  “In addition, she has given her time to the mathematics community where she founded and co-chairs the Mentor Network of the Association for Women in Mathematics, and sits on the editorial boards of a number of mathematical journals.”

A recurrent theme in her research work has been to develop and apply innovative asymptotic and multi-scale methods for the study of transition, or bifurcation behaviour of dynamical systems in the presence of noise or time delays. Such systems are ubiquitous in mathematical modeling of problems in neuroscience, machine-tool vibrations, and epidemic models. The mathematical framework developed by her and her collaborators has led to the development of new and, widely applicable, analytical tools to investigate stochastic resonance phenomena and delayed bifurcation effects in these contexts.

Concerning the theory of deterministic localized pattern formation, Kuske, together with Chris Budd and Giles Hunt, provided the first comprehensive multi-scale asymptotic theory to predict and characterize oscillatory, but localized, buckling states for an elastic strut under compressive loading. Such large amplitude states, which exist far from the buckling load, were previously observed in many physical experiments without a theoretical explanation. Her pioneering and well-cited work in this area has been at the forefront of the emergence of an exciting new sub-field in localized pattern formation. This is related to the characterization of so-called snaking bifurcation diagrams associated with spatially localized oscillatory states in various normal form partial differential equations arising in continuum mechanics, including the well-known Swift-Hohenburg equation.

Rachel Kuske received her Ph.D. in 1992 from Northwestern University, working on waves in random media with Bernard J. Matkowsky in the Department of Engineering Science and Applied Mathematics. Before coming to Canada, she was a postdoctoral student at Stanford and the University of Utrecht and held faculty appointments at Tufts University and University of Minnesota. In 2002 she joined the Mathematics faculty at the University of British Columbia, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Applied Mathematics, and is presently the Head of the Department of Mathematics.

For more information, contact:

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