Catherine Sulem to receive the 2024 Jeffery-Williams Prize

February 27, 2024 by Canadian Mathematical Society

The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce Dr. Catherine Sulem (University of Toronto) as the recipient of the 2024 CMS Jeffery-Williams Prize, recognizing her significant contributions to mathematical research, particularly in the areas of nonlinear partial differential equations and fluid dynamics.

Dr. Sulem received the degree Docteur ès Sciences in 1983 from the Université Paris-Nord. In France, she held positions with the CNRS at the University of Nice and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Since 1990, Dr. Sulem has been a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Over the course of her career, Dr. Sulem has served as an editor of several journals, including the Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Proceedings of the AMS, SIAM Journal of Mathematical Analysis, Mathematische Zeitschrift and Annales Mathématiques du Québec.

Dr. Sulem’s research focuses on nonlinear dynamics in various fields of physics, in particular, evolution equations that describe wave phenomena in fluids, nonlinear optics and plasma physics. She has significantly contributed to these fields, notably co-authoring with Pierre-Louis Sulem a monograph dedicated to the Nonlinear Schrödinger equation, a work that has been a source of inspiration for numerous mathematicians. Together with Vladimir Zakharov and Walter Craig, Dr. Sulem is credited with a formulation of the water-wave equations which is pivotal to current research in mathematical analysis, numerical simulations and in the derivation of asymptotic models.

These results only scratch the surface of Dr. Sulem’s extensive work. She has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, leaving a profound impact on various domains of physics and mathematics.

In addition to her research endeavors, Dr. Sulem actively contributes to the cultivation and advancement of future mathematicians. She has played a pivotal role in mentoring numerous postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Furthermore, her achievements are recognized through her fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, the American Mathematical Society and the Canadian Mathematical Society. Dr. Sulem has been a featured speaker at many international conferences, including the 2019 ICIAM where she delivered the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Prize lecture.

The CMS Research Committee states:

“Professor Sulem’s work on the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, particularly her analysis of the focusing singularity, showcases her ability to blend rigorous mathematical analysis with practical physical applications. Her pioneering efforts have led to a deeper understanding of wave phenomena in nonlinear optics and have inspired a wide range of further research in the field.”

Dr. Sulem’s productive and prolific career has left (and continues to leave) a profound impact on multiple domains of mathematics. The CMS is proud to award her the 2024 Jeffery-Williams Prize for her many influential contributions to both her research field(s) and the broader realm of mathematics.

About the Jeffery-Williams Prize

The Jeffery-Williams Prize was inaugurated to recognize mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research. The first award was presented in 1968 and is named after Ralph Jeffery and Lloyd Williams, who were two influential CMS Board members.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.