NJIT mathematician receives noted math prize

Robert Miura, PhD, a professor in the departments of mathematical sciences and biomedical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was honored last week by his colleagues for receiving the Leroy P. Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution To Research In Mathematics from the American Mathematical Society (http://www.ams.org/prizes-awards). The prize honors the work of Miura and his co-authors C. S. Gardner, J. M. Greene and M. D. Kruskal. Their work was done some 40 years ago when Miura was a postdoctoral student at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

The quartet unraveled the Korteweg-de-Vries equation, which had stumped mathematicians for decades. To solve the equation, Miura helped develop the inverse scattering method for solving nonlinear partial differential equations. The equation was originally published in 1895 by Dutch mathematicians Diederik Johannes Korteweg (1848-1941) and Gustav de Vries (1866-1934). The work was published as "Korteweg-de-Vries equation and generalizations. VI. Methods for exact solution, Comm. Pure Appl. Math. 27 (1974).

"Mathematicians regard the Steele prize very highly," said Daljit Ahluwahlia, PhD, director of the Center for Applied Mathematics at NJIT and acting dean of NJIT's College of Computing Sciences. "It is awarded for work that has proved to be of fundamental or lasting importance in its field, or a model of important research. The list of past winners consists of many luminaries of mathematics, including John Nash and Andre Weil."

At a reception last week at NJIT, Miura said he was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and to have been mentored by the other three men. "The two years at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory were the happiest and most exciting years in my research career. Every day came with the time to think deeply about new ideas and to produce results."

Miura said a major

Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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