Mathematician surprised by $2,000 award

By Carolyn Smith

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A UA professor and winner of a prestigious mathematics award said he will probably spend his prize money on dental bills.

Hermann Flaschka, University of Arizona mathematics professor said the $2,000 he received in January for being one of the two recipients of the Norbert Wiener Prize came as a surprise, in addition to the national recognition he has received.

The prize, established in 1967 in honor of mathematician Norbert Wiener, is endowed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's department of mathematics.

The prize is awarded every five years, beginning in 1970, by the American Mathematical Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Flaschka was acknowledged as having made an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense, in addition to providing research on methods of modern differential geometry and algebra.

He said his dental bills are expensive, and the prize money will probably go toward funding dental work.

"Professor Flaschka has always made such an effort with students in trying to help them understand the material. I think students need to realize the caliber of our professors and especially how interested in undergraduate students they are," said Barbara Shipman, a graduate student studying pure math.

Flaschka has been a professor at the UA since 1972 as well as a member of the Program in Applied Mathematics, a program which has been internationally recognized as one of the premiere graduate programs in applied mathematics.

He is a cofounder of the journal "Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena" and has been its editor in chief since 1983.

The award was also received by Ciprian Foias, a professor at Indiana University. Both awards were presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco on Jan. 5.

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