Bernoff Awarded SIAM Outstanding Paper

Harvey Mudd College mathematics Professor Andrew Bernoff has won the 2013 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Outstanding Paper Prize for a paper he co-authored with Macalester College mathematics Professor Chad Topaz.

The award is given for outstanding papers published in SIAM journals during the past three years.

“A Primer of Swarm Equilibria,” published in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, grew out of Topaz and Bernoff’s work modeling the configurations of locust swarms. They showed how to find exact and approximate solutions to one of the most common models used to describe biological swarms, including flocks of birds, schools of fish and swarms of locust.

One of three winners chosen, Bernoff’s paper was praised “for the importance of its contributions and topic, its clear writing style and its accessibility.” The paper also won the SIAM/SIGEST award and will be republished as the SIGEST article in the SIAM Review, the society’s flagship journal.

“This paper represented the culmination of roughly five years work, during which Professor Topaz and I developed analytical and numerical tools for understanding the shapes and motions of locust swarms,” said Bernoff. “Although the paper has generated a fair bit of interest, I was flabbergasted when I got the email from SIAM.”

Bernoff will receive his award July 9, during the 2013 SIAM Annual Meeting in San Diego.