MEDIA RELEASE — Feb 9, 2011

Canadian Mathematical Society

Feb 9, 2011


Iosif Polterovich to Receive 2011 CMS Coxeter-James Prize

Iosif Polterovich

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Iosif Polterovich (Université de Montréal) is the recipient of the 2011 Coxeter-James Prize. Professor Polterovich will receive his award at the Society’s 2011 Winter Meeting in Toronto, Ontario.

The Coxeter-James Prize was inaugurated in 1978 to recognize young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research. The award is named for past CMS presidents Donald Coxeter, considered the world’s best known geometer, and Ralph Duncan James, an early supporter of the CMS who contributed greatly to mathematical development in Canada. In announcing the award, Jacques Hurtubise, President of the CMS, noted, “Though still in the early years of his career, Iosif Polterovich has already become a leading name in the field of spectral geometry. This award recognizes Iosif’s accomplishments as a young researcher as well as his substantial contributions to mathematical research in general.”

Spectral geometry arises in the answer to questions such as “Can one hear the shape of a drum?” and “What can we learn about the interior structure of the Earth by studying earthquakes?” Mathematicians are also drawn to this subject by the intrinsic beauty of its logic.

“Iosif Polterovich’s research is characterized by a new, fresh approach to long-standing problems,” said David Brydges, Chair of the CMS Research Committee. “His research on heat invariants is a prime example. Heat invariants are among the oldest and most intensively studied spectral invariants, yet Iosif found a completely new closed form expression for the entire sequence. The fact that this discovery was published in his thesis makes it even more remarkable.”

Other areas of study where Professor Polterovich has made fundamental contributions include isospectral domains with mixed boundary conditions, the asymptotics of eigenvalues of the Laplacian, and isoperimetric inequalities for eigenvalues.

Professor Iosif Polterovich was born in Russia. He received his MSc from Moscow State University in 1995 and his PhD in 2000 from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is presently Canada Research Chair (Tier II) at Université de Montréal. He has held postdoctoral and visiting positions at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and in the Centre de recherches mathématiques in Montréal. His previous awards and honours include the 2008 G. de B. Robinson award from the Canadian Mathematical Society, the 2006 André Aisenstadt prize from the Centre de recherches mathématiques and the J.F. Kennedy prize from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

For more information, contact:

Dr. David Brydges, Chair
CMS Research Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of British Columbia
(604) 822-3620
or Laura Alyea
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 733-2662 ext. 728

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the national mathematics organization whose goal is to promote the advancement, 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.