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NYU Names Mathematician Leslie Greengard As Director of Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

April 26, 2006
N-373, 2005-06

NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin today announced the appointment of Leslie Greengard, M.D., Ph.D., a highly regarded mathematician and member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as the new director of NYU’s renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Professor Greengard has been on the NYU faculty since 1989 as a member of the Courant Institute; his appointment will become effective Sept. 1, 2006.

The Courant Institute, which embodies NYU’s Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, was established 1935. It is considered the world’s leader in the area of applied mathematics, regularly confronting through mathematics fundamental problems in science and engineering that would be less productively tackled by a single department. Its faculty includes 16 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 5 members of the National Academy of Engineering, a winner of the Abel Prize (the Nobel of mathematics), 3 recipients of National Medals of Science, a winner of the Kyoto Prize, an Oscar winner, and a winner of the Turing Award, among others.

President John Sexton said, “I am very pleased that Professor Leslie Greengard has agreed to serve as the next Director of the Courant Institute. An academic enterprise of the stature of the Courant Institute requires in its director a scholar of sterling repute, and in Leslie Greengard, we have found such a person. I am sure I speak for the entire NYU community in offering my congratulations to Leslie and to Courant on this appointment.”

Provost David McLaughlin said, “I have known Leslie as a colleague for many years; the breadth and quality of his research, the intellectual energy he brings to his scholarship, and his contributions and devotion to Courant and NYU make him an outstanding choice for this post.

“I thank the members of the search committee - which includes Sylvain Cappell (chair), Jeff Cheeger, Richard Cole, Pierre Hohenberg (ex-officio), Andrew Majda, Fang-Hua Lin, Amir Pnueli, Mike Shelley, Raghu Varadhan, Margaret Wright, Lai-Sang Young, and Denis Zorin - for their efforts and their discernment, which led us to Leslie.

“And on behalf of the entire NYU community, I would also like to thank Professor Charles Newman for his superb leadership of Courant these past four years.”

Leslie Greengard has been a member of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 1989, when he was appointed as an assistant professor in mathematics. He was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1992, and he was promoted to full professor since 1995. Prior to coming to NYU, he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and he served as an associate research scientist in the Department of Computer Science at Yale. His research interests include scientific computing, fast algorithms, adaptive methods, integral equations, potential theory, electromagnetics, computational chemistry, and computational biology.

Professor Greengard has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He is the recipient of the Leroy P. Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society; a Packard Foundation Fellowship; a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award; and the Sandoz Thesis Award from the Yale School of Medicine among other awards and honors. He has published extensively, and a select group of his publications may be found at http://math.nyu.edu/faculty/greengar/ .

Leslie Greengard received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University, his M.D. from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Yale.


New York University, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. It is one of the largest private universities, it is a leader in attracting international students and scholars in the U.S, and it sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: John Beckman | (212) 998-6848


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