Li Tatsien

    Professor Li Ta-tsien of Fudan University in Shanghai is awarded the 2015 ICIAM Su Buchin Prize in recognition of his outstanding contributions to applied mathematics and to the dissemination of mathematical sciences by means of an extensive series of summer schools that have had a profound influence on the development of research and teaching in developing countries. Through his farsighted leadership and broad vision, Li Ta-tsien has considerably contributed to the promotion and development of “modern” pure and applied mathematics in developing countries.

    Professor Li Ta-tsien is one of the most renowned specialists, worldwide, in the theory and numerical analysis of nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations, a domain where major diffculties abound, as well as a domain of fundamental importance in applications. These include in particular nonlinear elasticity and gas dynamics. Guided by the objective of acquiring a better understanding of the theory and physics of shocks that occur in gas dynamics, Li Ta-tsien developed a theory of local existence for classical and discontinuous solutions of the most general quasi-linear hyperbolic systems in two variables, posing them as problems where a free boundary occurs. In this fashion, he was able to specify the local structure of discontinuous solutions. This pioneering work initiated new directions for research in the subject.

    In another series of fundamental contributions, Li Ta-tsien established the existence of classical solutions for the Cauchy problem for general quasi-linear hyperbolic systems, with suffciently small initial data. This work constitutes a double achievement: First, it provides optimal estimates of lower and upper bounds for the life-span of a classical solution; second, it can be applied to the system of nonlinear elastodynamics. Jean Leray, one of the most famous mathematicians of the twentieth century, commented, “The work of Li Ta-tsien provides precise and elegant answers to manifold questions raised by many researchers”.

    More recently, Li Ta-tsien was able to obtain the first satisfactory mathematical modeling of “resistivity well-loggings”, a method of fundamental importance in petroleum exploitation. This work led him to introduce a new family of boundary value problems, called “boundary value problems with equipotential surface”. He then studied such problems, both theoretically and numerically, in particular by successfully applying homogenization theory to the modeling of an electrode composed of many parts. It is a measure of the success and power of his approach that it is currently used in more than ten petroleum fields over the world!

    Li Ta-tsien is not only an eminent mathematician. During the past decades, he has been extremely influential in the development of the pure and applied mathematical community in developing countries. More specifically, a very far-sighted initiaitive was taken in 1998 by Jacques-Louis Lions and Li Ta-tsien, who together co-founded ISFMA, the Institut Sino–Français de Mathematiques Appliquées, or Chinese–French Institute of Applied Mathematics. Thanks to his tireless efforts, this Institute, which is beautifully housed on the campus of Fudan University, organizes every year highly successful Summer Schools, with the support of CIMPA (International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics in Nice, France) and other organizations. These Summer Schools regularly attract students coming from Asian countries, such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and others. At each Summer School, the lecture notes are edited by Li Ta-tsien and published. The summer schools and their proceedings have had a profound influence and impact on the dissemination of contemporary research in the targeted countries. They have also contributed greatly to the training of countless teachers from the universities in these countries.

Key Features:
Awarding ceremony of ICIAM prizes
Invited lectures
Prize lectures
Industrial Minisymposia
Contributed Minisymposia
Poster sessions
Embedded and satellite meetings
Public outreach sessions