1996 Frederic Esser Nemmers Mathematics Prize Recipient
Congratulations to the 1996 Nemmers Mathematics Prize winner
Joseph B. Keller, Stanford University
1996 Nemmers Prize in Mathematics Recipient
Joseph B. Keller
For distinguished work in applied mathematics, solving problems of wave propagation, mathematical modeling, and analysis of physical phenomena
Joseph B. Keller, Lewis M. Terman Professor of Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, is regarded by many as the world's most distinguished applied mathematician. He was awarded the National Medal of Science by the National Academy of Sciences in 1988 and is a member of the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Keller originated the Geometrical Theory of Diffraction to solve problems of wave propagation. The theory is an indispensable tool for engineers and scientists working on radar, the design of antennas and on high frequency systems in complicated environments. He also formulated methods to solve the problems of wave propagation through heterogeneous, turbulent, or random media in which fluctuations occur due to the irregular and fluctuating properties of the medium.
Keller has worked extensively on problems related to national security, including sonar, underwater explosions, atmospheric explosions of hydrogen bombs, and A-bomb explosions on ships and submarines. The author of more than 400 scientific papers, he twice received the Lester R. Ford Award for expository writing from the Mathematical Association of America.
Keller has trained generations of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers in what is called the Keller School of Applied Mathematics, which centers on the intricacy and beauty of mathematical modeling and analysis of physical phenomena.
Keller received bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees from New York University, where he was a professor for 30 years. He also held positions at Princeton University and Columbia University. He has been a professor at Stanford since 1978 and a research associate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution since 1969.