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Leonid Berlyand receives Humboldt Research Award

9 December 2021
Berlyand in front of chalkboard

Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics at Penn State, a member the Penn State Materials Research Institute, and co-director of the Center for Mathematics of Living and Mimetic Matter at the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany. The award recognizes researchers whose “fundamental discoveries, new theories, or findings have had a lasting effect on their discipline beyond their immediate research area and who are expected to continue producing outstanding research in the future.” This award recognizes Berlyand’s pioneering work in the theory of differential equations and their applications in the life sciences, material sciences, and physics.

Winners of the award are invited to spend a period of up to one year collaborating on a long-term research project with colleagues at a research institution in Germany. Berlyand will collaborate with Anna Marciniak-Czochra at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, with Benjamin Gess and Felix Otto at the Max Plank Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, and with Franca Hoffmann and Tim Laux at the Hausdorff Center of Mathematics at the University of Bonn. 

Berlyand is an applied mathematician whose research focuses on modeling, analysis, and simulations of problems in the life sciences, materials sciences, and physics. He is particularly interested in questions related to partial differential equations and calculus of variations. His research also addresses mathematical foundations of machine learning. 

Berlyand was named an Honorary Professor of the Moscow State University "for his important contribution to applied mathematics and mathematical physics" in 2017, joining three Noble Prize winner and a score of other dignitaries who have received this honor. In 2005, he received the C.I. Noll Award for excellence in teaching from the Penn State Eberly College of Science in recognition of his efforts to incorporate interactive discussion in the classroom and to ensure that all students understand the material. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and two books. He currently serves as an editor of the journal Networks and Heterogenous Media and on the editorial board for the International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering and previously served as associate editor of the SIAM/ASA Journal of Uncertainty Quantification.

Berlyand earned his doctoral degree at Kharkov State University in 1984. He was a senior research scientist at Kharkov State University from 1979 to 1986 and at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow from 1988 to 1991. He joined Penn State as a visiting faculty in 1991 and then became an assistant professor of mathematics and materials in 1993. He was promoted to associate professor in 2000 and to professor in 2003. 

He also has held visiting professorships at Schlumberger-Doll Research, the University of Minnesota, Princeton University, the University of Paris-6, Sorbonne, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, the Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Science, the University of Lyon-1, Argonne National Laboratory, Renmin University, and Jiao Tong University.

The award is named after the late Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and is granted yearly to internationally renowned academics in a variety of disciplines