University of Texas at Austin professor wins prestigious international math prize

AUSTIN, Texas—University of Texas at Austin Professor Luis A. Caffarelli has won the prestigious 2005 Rolf Schock Prize for mathematics.

The Royal Swedish Academy, the same organization that grants Nobel prizes, awards the Schock prizes every two years in mathematics, visual arts, musical arts, and philosophy and logic.

Caffarelli, 56, was recognized for his “important contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations.” The prize, which includes a $56,000 award, will be given to Caffarelli in October at a ceremony in Stockholm.

The Royal Academy described his work and his impact:

“For 30 years Luis A. Caffarelli has been the world’s leading specialist in free-boundary problems for non-linear differential equations; his pioneering solutions have tackled many classic problems that have long defied mathematicians. It will probably be decades before they have utilized all the techniques he has created.”

The award was announced Tuesday, April 5. Caffarelli received a call from the Royal Academy while making his morning commute to campus on a shuttle bus.

Caffarelli has taught and conducted research at The University of Texas at Austin since 1997, when he and his wife Dr. Irene Gamba, a professor of mathematics, joined the faculty.

He also has taught at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J., the Courant Institute at New York University, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota.

Caffarelli is a native of Argentina and earned master’s and doctor’s degrees at the University of Buenos Aires.

In 1991 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded Doctor Honoris Causa from l’Ecole Normal Superieure, Paris; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and Universidad de la Plata, Argentina. He received the Bocher Prize in 1984.

Previous winners of the Schock prize for mathematics are Elias Stein (1993), Andrew Wiles (1995), Mikio Sato (1997), Yuri Manin (1999), Elliott Lieb (2001) and Richard Stanley (2003).

The other winners of 2005 Schock prizes are the logician Jaakko Hintikka, architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, and composer Mauricio Kagel.

Rolf Schock, a philosopher and artist who died in 1986, left money in his will for a prize to be awarded in such widely differing subjects as logic and philosophy, mathematics, the visual arts and music. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music have awarded these prizes every other year since 1993.

For more information contact: Tim Green, 512-475-6596.