Mathematical physics awards given to three faculty members

Aug. 31, 2009 6:13 p.m.

Three Princeton faculty members received awards at the International Congress of Mathematical Physics, which was held in August in Prague.

Professor of mathematics Yakov Sinai and assistant professor of physics Robert Seiringer received the Henri Poincaré Prize from the International Association of Mathematical Physics. Instructor of mathematics Rupert Frank received the Young Scientist Prize from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Sinai, who has been on the faculty since 1993, was recognized "for his groundbreaking works concerning dynamical entropy, ergodic theory, chaotic dynamical systems, microscopic theory of phase transitions and time evolution in statistical mechanics."

Sinai's work deals with measuring complex systems that change over time, such as the weather and economic systems. He was the first to develop a mathematical description of the complexity of changing, chaotic systems, creating an approach now called Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy. This work gives mathematicians a critical tool for solving the complex equations that describe such systems.

Sinai has received many other awards and honors including the 1997 Wolf Prize in mathematics and the 1992 Dirac Medal of the International Center for Theoretical Physics.

Seiringer was cited "for his major contributions to the mathematical analysis of low temperature condensed matter systems, in particular for his work on Bose-Einstein condensation and the Gross-Pitaevskii equation."

Seiringer has been on the Princeton faculty since 2003, and also spent two years at the University as a postdoctoral researcher. He specializes in mathematical physics.

Frank was honored "for outstanding results in analysis with application to quantum systems including solutions to some longstanding problems." He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton for two years before being named an instructor this year.