Barry M. Simon, the International Business Machines (IBM) Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, has been awarded the 2018 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics. The prize is administered jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics, and recognizes outstanding publications in the field of mathematical physics.
Simon was recognized for "his fundamental contributions to the mathematical physics of quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and statistical mechanics, including spectral theory, phase transitions, and geometric phases, and his many books and monographs that have deeply influenced generations of researchers," according to the award citation.
"It is a pleasure and honor to get this award, which my advisor—and eight of my co-authors—previously received," Simon says. "As someone who works between mathematics and physics, it is nice to feel validated by the physics community."
Simon spoke at the International Congress of Mathematics in 1974 and has since given almost every prestigious lecture available in mathematics and physics. He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and was among the inaugural class of American Mathematical Society fellows in 2012. He has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 1981. Most recently, Simon received the 2016 Leroy Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement of the American Mathematical Society. In 2015, Simon was awarded the International János Bolyai Prize of Mathematics by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, given every five years to honor internationally outstanding works in mathematics, and in 2012, he was given the Henri Poincaré Prize by the International Association of Mathematical Physics. The prize is awarded every three years in recognition of outstanding contributions in mathematical physics and accomplishments leading to novel developments in the field.
Simon received his AB from Harvard College in 1966 and his doctorate in physics from Princeton University in 1970. He held a joint appointment in the mathematics and physics departments at Princeton for the next decade. He first arrived at Caltech as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Visiting Scholar in 1980 and joined the faculty permanently in 1981. He became the IBM Professor in 1984 and IBM Professor, Emeritus, in 2016.
Written by Lori Dajose