MEDIA RELEASE — April 15, 2013

Canadian Mathematical Society

April 15, 2013


Balazs Szegedy to receive 2013 CMS Coxeter-James prize

Dr. Balázs Szegedy

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Balázs Szegedy (University of Toronto) is the recipient of the 2013 Coxeter-James Prize. The prize will be awarded in June at the Society’s Summer Meeting in Halifax.

The Coxeter-James Prize was inaugurated in 1978 to recognize young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions in mathematical research. This award is named on behalf of former CMS president Donald Coxeter, who is recognized as one of the world’s best geometers, and for former CMS president Ralph Duncan James, who was a great contributor to mathematical development in Canada.

“Balázs Szegedy is a brilliant young researcher who continues to make notable discoveries in the area of graph theory, analysis and discrete mathematics,” said Lia Bronsard, Chair of the CMS Research Committee. “Balázs brings new tools from analysis, algebra and topology into combinatorics contributing to the advancement of mathematics in Canada and the CMS is proud to award him with this year’s Coxeter-James Prize.”

Balázs Szegedy is interested in the asymptotic behaviour of very large systems such as the human brain as neural network, the internet, and social networks. He also uses higher order Fourier analysis to deal with "resonance patterns" found in chaotic waves. These generalize the Fourier transform that our inner ears are able to perform to listen to music.

Despite his young age, Szegedy has built an impressive reputation within the mathematical community. He has published several papers in top-rated journals such as the Journal of the AMS, Combinatorica, and the Journal of Combinatorial Theory.

In a sequence of joint papers L. Lovasz and B. Szegedy introduced and studied the graph limit space, a compact metric space which unites all finite graphs and their limits into a single geometric object. Graph limit theory has a growing number of applications in extremal combinatorics, computer science and random graph theory.

Another example of Szegedy’s recognized accomplishments is his work with Henry Cohn, Robert Kleinberg, and Chris Umans. Together, the four researchers developed a simple algorithm that is based on Fourier analysis with the same exponent. The results of this algorithm have brought renewed interest to the topic which has in turn led to other research in combinatorics and computer science. To date, their research has received more than 100 citations.

“Balázs, while getting breakthrough results invents revolutionary ideas, connects ideas from many branches of mathematics. I am sure his results are among the absolutely best results of arithmetic combinatorics, Fourier analysis, and functional analysis,” said Endre Szemeredi in his letter of recommendation. “I cannot imagine any better candidate for the Coxeter-James prize than Balázs Szegedy.”

Balázs Szegedy was born in Hungary and earned his PhD in 2003 from the Eötvös University under the supervision of Peter Pal Palfy. Szegedy has previously held postdoctoral and visiting positions at Microsoft and the Institute for Advanced Study.

In 2009, Szegedy was awarded with the European Prize in Combinatorics as well as the Sloan Fellowship. In 2012, he was awarded with the Fulkerson Prize. Szegedy is currently an associate professor at the University of Toronto.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Lia Bronsard, Chair
CMS Research Committee
Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
905-525-9140, ext. 23418
or Jessica St-James
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.