Student and Postdoc Prizes and Fellowships
Each year the Courant Institute awards several prizes and fellowships to recognize exceptional promise and accomplishment at various levels. These awards, which are underwritten by donations from friends of the Institute, are listed below together with the latest recipients.
For last year's recipients, see the 2018-2019 page.
For a list of previous award recipients through 2018-2019, see the archive.
This fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding Mathematics PhD student.
The Joann and Stanley Benson Fellowship recognizes outstanding performance by a Computer Science Master's student.
This award honors the memory of Henning Biermann, a brilliant and much-loved Ph.D. student whose dedication to teaching, mentoring, and service enriched academic and extracurricular life for everyone in the department. The award is made to a Ph.D. student who exemplifies this spirit through outstanding contributions to education or service to the department.
The Sandra Bleistein Prize was established by Dr. Norman Bleistein in memory of his late wife, Sandra, who had been a graduate student at the Courant Institute. Norman Bleistein himself received his Ph.D. at the Courant Institute in 1965, writing his thesis on asymptotic methods for the solution of initial boundary value problems for dispersive hyperbolic equations under Professor Robert Lewis. After spending time at MIT and Denver University, he went on to the Colorado School of Mines where, along with Frank Hagan and John Desanto, he formed the Center for Wave Phenomena which was devoted almost exclusively to geophysical problems. The prize is given annually for notable achievement by a woman in applied mathematics or computer science.
The Thomas Tyler Bringley Fellowship honors the memory of Tom Bringley, whose 2008 NYU PhD thesis was entitled "Analysis of the Immersed Boundary Method for Stokes Flow." It recognizes outstanding work in applied mathematics by a PhD student.
Hollis Cooley was a much loved and respected professor in the Department of Mathematics as well as being the advisor for the freshman honors program. Among his students were Joe Keller and Peter Lax. He was known as an individual who would talk to you about anything: his abiding interest in all things mathematical, in teaching, in his interest in the American Civil Liberties Union. The Hollis Cooley Prize is offered for excellence and promise in undergraduate mathematics in his honor.
Soon after earning her Ph.D. in the Computer Science Department, Janet Fabri died in an automobile accident on her way to work at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center. The award, initiated by Janet's colleagues at IBM, her family, and her advisor Robert Dewar, is given each year for the dissertation determined to be the department's most outstanding.
Kurt O. Friedrichs spent most of his professional life at New York University. He played a fundamental role at the Courant Institute, helping to create it and to maintain it though difficult periods. In the early days of the Institute, Friedrichs' own scientific achievements led the way for the international recognition we enjoy today, and many of his students have added to that renown. Friedrichs made fundamental contributions to the theory of partial differential equations, operators in Hilbert space, perturbation theory, and bifurcation theory. Pure and applied mathematicians, physicists, and engineers have all been profoundly influenced in their work by Friedrichs. He served as Associate Director (1952-1966) and Director (1966-1967) and continued to advise and counsel the leadership of the Institute long after his retirement in 1974. This prize is awarded for an outstanding dissertation in mathematics.
The Paul Garabedian Fellowship honors the memory of our colleague Paul Garabedian, who joined the Courant Institute in 1959 and was a member of our faculty for 51 years. Paul's interests were exceptionally broad. As a pure mathematician, he made fundamental contributions to the theory of partial differential equations and to the theory of functions of a complex variable. As an applied mathematician, his astonishing calculation of shockless airfoils had a major impact on modern aircraft design, and his studies of plasma stability are central to the design of fusion reactors. The Paul Garabedian Fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding PhD student.
Max Goldstein was the director of the DOE computer center at New York University, the co-founder of the Department of Computer Science, and the first director of the Academic Computing Facility. An important figure in developing computing at the Los Alamos National Laboratory after World War II, Max felt that computing had profound implications for many disciplines and at many levels. The Max Goldstein Prize is awarded annually for undergraduate creativity in computing.
Harold Grad was the founder of the Magneto-fluid Dynamics Division of the Courant Institute and served as its head until shortly before his death. Under Harold's leadership, the division specialized in mathematical problems related to thermonuclear fusion, and to this day, the Courant Institute is a leader in the research of fusion theory. Harold first achieved fame with his doctoral dissertation under Richard Courant, when he developed the 13-moment method which allowed simplified treatment of the dynamics of gasses. While expanding his research horizons from classical fluid to magnetized fluid, Harold continued to strive for and achieve excellence in both fields. This prize is awarded for outstanding performance and promise as a graduate student.
The Moses A. Greenfield Research Prize is awarded for outstanding interdisciplinary studies by a current student.
The Joseph B. Keller Postdoctoral Fellowship honors the memory of our colleague Joe Keller. Joe's connections with NYU go back a long way: he got both his undergraduate and graduate degrees here, finishing his PhD 1948, then joined our faculty. Through his scientific and personal leadership, Joe had a huge influence in the flourishing of applied mathematics at NYU and worldwide. While he moved to Stanford in 1979, he remained very connected to Courant and NYU, visiting often and remaining in a very real sense part of our community. An outstanding and very broad applied mathematician, Joe was perhaps best known for development of the Geometrical Theory of Diffraction. More broadly: he was a master in the art of using mathematics to solve problems from science and engineering. The Joseph B. Keller Postdoctoral Fellowship is now awarded annually to an outstanding Courant Instructor working in applied mathematics.
The Hedwig Kurzbart Master's Fellowship recognizes outstanding performance by a Computer Science Master's student.
The Peter Lax Fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding Mathematics PhD student.
The Martin and Sarah Leibowitz Graduate Prize for Quantitative Biology is awarded for academic excellence within the field of Quantitative Biology.
Wilhelm T. Magnus was an exceptional mathematician, internationally renowned for his research in group theory and its application to geometry and topology as well as special functions of mathematical physics and their application to electromagnetic theory and diffraction problems. He was an outstanding teacher and inspiring mentor as well as being a distinguished research leader in combinatorial group theory. The Wilhelm T. Magnus Memorial Prize is awarded for significant contributions to the mathematical sciences.
Bella Manel was the first female student of Richard Courant in the U.S. as well as one of the very first female Ph.D. students in mathematics in the U.S. Dr. Manel wrote her dissertation on conformal mapping of multiply connected domains on the basis of Plateau's problem, and earned her Ph.D. degree in 1939. She has spent her entire career as an applied mathematician and computational scientist. Several years ago, her husband, Dr. Moses Greenfield, who is on the faculty of the Medical School of UCLA, established this award in her honor. It is given for excellence and promise in mathematics on the graduate level by a woman or a member of another under-represented group.
The Cathleen Synge Morawetz Fellowship honors the memory of our colleague Cathleen Morawetz. An outstanding mathematician and leader, Cathleen came to NYU as a student in 1946, and was a central figure at the Courant Institute for her entire mathematical career. She worked on a wide range of problems involving partial differential equations, making seminal contributions to transonic flow and scattering theory among other topics. In 1956 she solved what was then an engineering mystery, by showing that there is no airfoil design that robustly eliminates shocks at supersonic speeds. In the 60s and 70s she studied the scattering of waves by obstacles and nonlinear scattering theory. The techniques she introduced -- now known as "Morawetz inequalities" and "Morawetz estimates" -- are flexible and widely applicable; as a result, her work has strongly influenced many areas where wave propagation is important, including fluid dynamics and general relativity. The Cathleen Synge Morawetz Fellowship is now awarded annually to an outstanding Courant Instructor.
The Charles Newman Fellowship is awarded each year to one or two outstanding Mathematics PhD students.
The Jeffrey and Denise Rosenbluth fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding Mathematics PhD student.
This fellowship is awarded for outstanding performance in the Ph.D. program and named for Jack Schwartz, founder of the NYU Computer Science Department and faculty member at Courant for 42 years. Jack was an extraordinarily distinguished and versatile scientist whose work was foundational in several areas of computer science, including computational logic, programming languages, robotics, parallel computing, multimedia, and computational biology.
Matthew Smosna, a researcher, student, administrator and much-loved teacher in the Computer Science Department died suddenly in 1997. The Matthew Smosna Prize was instituted in his memory and is given each year to the master's student with the highest level of academic achievement.
The M. Michael Waller Master's Fellowship recognizes outstanding performance by a Computer Science Master's student.
The Computer Science Master's Thesis Prize is awarded for the best thesis of a Master's student in the Computer Science department.
The Master's Innovation Prize is awarded for outstanding innovation by a Master's student in the Computer Science department.
The Math Master's Thesis Prize is awarded for significant contributions to the mathematical sciences.