Applied Mathematics

Graduate Awards

Each year, the Division of Applied Mathematics recognizes its most outstanding PhD students with one of the following awards. In addition, the Graduate School also offers an award for the most outstanding dissertation.

Stella Dafermos Award

The Stella Dafermos Award has been established by the Division of Applied Mathematics to honor the memory of Professor Stella Dafermos. The prize goes to one or more outstanding graduate students who share her goals. 

Professor Dafermos was born in Greece in 1940.  She passed away in Providence, Rhode Island on April 5, 1990.  She received her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University in Athens and she received her Ph.D. in 1968 in Operations Research from Johns Hopkins University.  Her Ph.D. dissertation, Traffic Assignment and Resource Allocation in the Transportation Networks, was focused on the formulation, analysis, and solution of system-optimized and user-optimized transportation networks.  Professor Dafermos was the second female Ph.D. in Operations Research in the United States, and she was the first female Full Professor at Brown University in Engineering and Applied Mathematics appointed in 1982. Professor Dafermos possessed a sharp intellect, scholarship, focus, and scientific rigor, and her gift of creativity gave her a remarkable legacy.  She made significant contributions to network equilibria and variational inequalities and these contributions were deeply impactful in the studies of Applied Mathematics, Operations Research, Engineering, Economics and Regional Science. 

David Gottlieb Memorial Award

The David Gottlieb Memorial Award has been established by the Division of Applied Mathematics to honor the memory of Professor David Gottlieb. This prize recognizes excellence of graduate study in the Division. 

David Gottlieb was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 14, 1944.  For many years he was the central figure in the development of high-order and spectral methods for the solution of partial differential equations.  Professor Gottlieb graduated with an MSc in 1969, under Shlomo Breuer, and with a Ph.D. in 1972, as the first student of Saul Abarbanel, and the very first Ph.D of the department of Mathematics at Tel Aviv University.  David continued his studies at MIT, and then he arrived at Brown in 1985 to pursue his work on Large Scale Computing in Science and Engineering.  David was a deeply respected member of the Brown faculty.  Professor Gottlieb’s qualities as a person has had a profound impact on the community that developed around him.  Professor Gottlieb was deeply rooted in the Jewish faith, by the Yiddish word “Mentsh” – a person of integrity and honor, combining kindness, responsibility, and dignity.

Dunmu Ji Award

Dunmu Ji received his Ph.D. from the Division of Applied Mathematics in 1988, and he was particularly supportive of the graduate program as an alumnus. This prize carrying his name is awarded in recognition of a particularly original and independent doctoral thesis. 

Dunmu Ji was born on April 18, 1948, and he died on November 16, 2009.  During his years as a doctoral student at Brown, he was fortunate to have as his advisor, Wendell Fleming.  Professor Fleming and Dunmu worked collaboratively in the field of stochastic control theory and related topics including the calculus of variations, geometric measure theory, nonlinear filtering and the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations.

Larry S. Shu Prize in Applied Mathematics

The Larry S. Shu Prize was established by his family to honor the memory of Dr. Larry S. Shu. This award recognizes excellence in graduate study of an international student.  

The Larry S. Shu Prize was established in 2022 by the family of Larry S. Shu ScM'61 PhD'66, in his memory. The prize is awarded to a graduate student in May each year. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and raised in Macau, China, Dr. Shu received a full academic scholarship to the National Cheng Kung University, where he graduated first in his class with a BS in Structural Engineering. He emigrated to the United States on a full scholarship to continue his studies at Brown University where he completed his ScM and PhD while becoming a member of the Society of Sigma Xi. During his time at Brown and his subsequent years as the Director of Research at W.R. Grace Co, Dr. Shu produced numerous publications and patents in the area of materials science and engineering.

Sigma Xi Award

The Sigma Xi Award is awarded to a graduate student for excellence in research and high potential for future contributions. 

Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 at Cornell University for a group of engineering students and a junior faculty member.  From the beginning, the founders emphasized that the new scientific honor society would be broad in its outlook, and devoted to all of science and engineering.  Sigma Xi was designed to reward excellence in scientific research and to encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields.  The founders chose a combination of Greek letters ; Sigma Xi, and a motto based on these initials was developed to confirm its purpose:  Spoudon xynones, or “companions in zealous research.  Today, Sigma Xi has nearly 60,000 members in over 500 chapters in the US, Canada and other countries.  Recent presidents of Sigma Xi have included Nobel Prize laureate Frederick Robbins.                                                                                                           

Simon Ostrach Fellowship

The Simon Ostrach Fellowship, our only named graduate fellowship, was established in 1994 by Simon Ostrach (Sc.M. 1949 and Ph.D. 1950) to recognize graduate students for their distinguished academic record. 

Simon Ostrach was born in 1923, and was an American  academic and a pioneer in the fields of buoyancy-driven flows and microgravity science. Born in Providence RI, he attended Rhode Island State College and earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Engineering.  In 1947 Ostrach was nominated for a predoctoral fellowship at Brown University, and graduated with his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. Professor Ostrach began his career in 1944 at the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, and worked on engine cooling problems for World War II aircraft.  Proceeding the war, he performed thermodynamic analyses on turbojet and turboprop engines.  He received titles of Distinguished Professor at many institutions, and was honored by NASA in 1998 as one of its "12 Superstars of Modern Aeronautics."   Professor Ostrach expanded on his work at Brown in the new field of fluid flows generated by buoyancy.  He also designed crucial experiments that flew aboard the space shuttle in 1992 and 1995.   

Joukowsky Family Foundation for Outstanding Dissertation Award

This award is an annual prize awarded by the Graduate School for superior achievements in research by students who are completing their Ph.Ds. 

The awards are usually given to four students per year, one from each of the four main areas: the humanities, the life sciences, the physical sciences, and the social sciences.  The Joukowsky Family Foundation is a private charitable foundation based in New York City.  The foundation was first established as a trust in 1981 and was incorporated in New York State in i1983. The Foundation's primary dedication is on education.  It also supports a wide range of cultural, social, archaeological, and historical activities.  Since its creation in 1981, the Joukowsky Family Foundation has invested in philanthropic programs that empower people, promote freedom and honors capitalist systems.  It’s founders are Artemis Joukowsky and Dr. Martha Joukowsky.

Graduate Award Recipients

  • Stella Dafermos Award:  Xinyue Yu
  • Dunmu Ji Award:  Tingwei Meng
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award:  Charles Parker
  • Sigma Xi:  Xiaoyu Darryl Xie
  • Simon Ostrach Fellowship:  Gabriel Provencher Langlois

The Stella Dafermos Award:  Rebecca Santorella

The Dunmu Ji Award: Ankan Ganguly

David Gottlieb Memorial Award:  Liu Yang

Simon Ostrach Fellowship:  Rebecca Durst

Sigma Xi Award:  Ying-Ting Liao

  • Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award:  Lu Lu
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Colin McSwiggen
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Melissa McGuirl
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Lu Lu
  • Sigma Xi Award: Zongyuan Li
  • Ostrach Fellowship: Taehee Lee
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Guo-Jhen Wu
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Stephanie Dodson 
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Tianheng Chen
  • Sigma Xi Award:  Melissa McGuirl
  • Ostrach Fellowship: Dongkun Zhang
  • Dunmu Ji Award:  Sameer Iyer
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Pooja Agarwal
  • Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award: 
  • Sameer Iyer
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Zheng Sun
  • Sigma Xi Award: Ben Whitney
  • Ostrach Fellowship:  Amanda Howard
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Hong Zhang
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Alexandria Volkening
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Christian Glusa
  • Sigma Xi Award: Veronica Ciocanel
  • Ostrach Fellowship:  Seungjoon Lee
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Mohammadreza Aghajani
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Elizabeth Makrides
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Nathaniel Trask
  • Sigma Xi Award: Steven Kim
  • Ostrach Fellowship:  Mingge Deng
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Changho Kim
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Heyrim Cho
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Lei Wu
  • Sigma Xi Award: Changho Kim
  • Ostrach Fellowship:  Lei Wu
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Joe Klobusicky and Yue Yu
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Laura Slivinski
  • Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award:  Jeffrey Miller
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Zhongqiang Zhang
  • Sigma Xi Award: Mohammadreza Aghajani
  • Ostrach Fellowship:  Wei Wu
  • Dunmu Ji Award: Yang Yang
  • Stella Dafermos Award: Kelly McQuighan
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award: Yufei Liu
  • Sigma Xi Award: Jeffrey Miller
  • Ostrach Fellowship: Yang Yang and Yue Yu
  • Stella Dafermos Award:  Luan Lin
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching: Jeffrey Miller
  • David Gottlieb Memorial Award:  Kamaljit Chowdhary
  • The Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Prize:  Surui Tan
  • Sigma Xi:  Sirui Tan