MEDIA RELEASE — February 23, 2018

Canadian Mathematical Society

February 23, 2018

Professor Gordon Slade to receive the 2018 Jeffery-Williams Prize

Gordon Slade (University of British Columbia)

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Professor Gordon Slade (UBC) has been named the recipient of the 2018 CMS Jeffery-Williams Prize for his exceptional contributions to mathematics research. Slade will receive his award and present a prize lecture during the CMS Summer Meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick, June 1-4, 2018.

Professor Slade has done outstanding work in rigorous statistical mechanics, motivated by the physics of critical phenomena. With his collaborators, Slade has developed two major mathematical tools for statistical mechanics.

The first of these is the lace expansion. This was introduced by David Brydges and Tom Spencer in the mid 1980s to study self-avoiding walks, but it is the work of Slade and his co-authors which has turned it into a systematic calculus which can handle a wide variety of models above their critical dimension dc. These models include the self-avoiding walk, percolation, oriented percolation, branched polymers, random graphs, and the lattice |φ|4 spin model (a variant of the Ising model).

More recently, with David Brydges and their jointly supervised student Roland Bauerschmidt, Slade has developed a rigorous formalism for the Renormalization Group, a method which allows mathematicians to also resolve these models at the critical dimension (which in most cases is dc = 4).

The behaviour varies with the spatial dimension d; above the critical dimension dc they are believed to exhibit "mean field" behaviour. The case d = 2, long recognized by physicists to be special due to the existence of "exact solutions", has seen great progress since the turn of the century with the emergence of Schrarnm-Loewner Evolution. For d = 3 almost nothing is known rigorously. Slade and his co-authors have successfully analyzed most of these models in four and more dimensions and computed their critical behaviour, thus resolving a number of hard and central problems which had long resisted the efforts of some of the best probabilists and mathematical physicists in the world.

Gordon Slade received his Masters from the University of Toronto in 1979, followed by his doctorate from the University of British Columbia in 1984. He has been at the University of British Columbia since 1999. Slade is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Royal Society (London). Dr. Slade is the recipient of the Prize of the Institut Henri Poincaré, the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize, and the 1995 CMS Coxeter-James Prize.

About the Jeffery-Williams Prize

The Jeffery-Williams Prize was inaugurated to recognize mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research. The first award was presented in 1968 and is named after Ralph Jeffery and Lloyd Williams, who were two influential CMS Board members.

For information about past recipients visit: Jeffery-Williams Prize

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 competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.

For more information, please contact:

Patricia Dack
Fundraising and Communications Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662 ext. 728
or Prof. Nantel Bergeron (York)
Chair, CMS Research Committee
Tel: (416) 736-5250