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Gérard Ben Arous Appointed Director of NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

April 26, 2011
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Ben Arous Also Appointed Vice Provost for Science and Engineering Development

NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin today announced the appointment of Gérard Ben Arous, a prize-winning mathematician and a professor of mathematics at NYU since 2002, as the Director of NYU’s renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.  His appointment becomes effective September 1, 2011.

John Sexton said, “The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences has a history of scholarship, discovery, and recognitions that is justly admired throughout higher education.  In selecting a director, we sought someone who would be prepared not just to maintain Courant’s stature but to advance it.  I am very pleased that within our own ranks we have found just such a person: Gérard Ben Arous.  A superb scholar, he has an unwavering commitment to excellence that I am certain will translate into new successes for Courant.  On behalf of the NYU community, let me express my delight with this appointment and offer our congratulations to Gérard.”

“Let me also take this opportunity to thank Leslie Greengard for his excellent stewardship of Courant these past five years.  He is a wonderful colleague and University citizen.  The University is so very grateful for his leadership and dedicated service.”

In addition to being named director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Professor Ben Arous has been named Vice Provost for Science and Engineering Development.  In that role, he will participate in University-wide efforts to advance NYU’s science, engineering, and technology programs.

David McLaughlin said, “In addition to being an outstanding mathematician and a generous colleague at Courant, Gérard has a clear understanding of how important it is – and how much work will be required – for the entire University to push forward vigorously in the sciences, and how the Courant Institute is indispensable to that effort.  So I am delighted and grateful that he has agreed, in addition to taking on the duties of Director of the Courant Institute, to also be part of NYU’s efforts to continue improving science University-wide.”

Professor Ben Arous’ areas of scholarly interest are centered on probability theory (stochastic analysis, large deviations, random media, and random matrices) and its connections with other domains of mathematics (partial differential equations, dynamical systems), physics (statistical mechanics of disordered media), or industrial applications.  He is mainly interested in the time evolution of complex systems, and the universal aspects of their long time behavior, in particular how complexity and disorder imply their slow relaxation to equilibrium and their aging properties.

Gérard Ben Arous has been a professor of mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 2002. Prior to joining NYU, he was a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, where he held the Chair of Stochastic Modeling.  From 1994 to 1997, he was professor and director of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ecole Normale Supérieure.  Prior to that, he was a professor and later director of the laboratory of mathematics at the University of Paris Sud.

Professor Ben Arous is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including: Développement asymptotique du noyau de la chaleur hypoelliptique hors du cut-locus (Annales scientifiques de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, 4ème série, Tome 21, pp 307-331, 1988); Flots et séries de Taylor stochastiques (Probability theory and related fields, Vol 81, pp 29-77, 1989); Large deviations for Wigner’s law and Voiculescu’s non commutative entropy (with A. Guionnet, Probability theory and related fields, Vol 108, 4, pp 517-542, 1997); Aging in the Random Energy Model (with A. Bovier and V. Gayrard, Phys. Rev Letters, Vol 8, issue 882002); Multiscale homogenization with bounded ratios and anomalous slow diffusion (with H. Owhadi, Communications in Pure and Applied mathematics, Vol 56, no. 1, pp 80-113, 2003); Phase transition for the largest eigenvalue of large sample covariance matrices (with J. Baik and S. Peche, The Annals of Probability, Vol 33, no. 5, pp 1643-1697, 2005); Cugliandolo-Kurchan Equations for dynamics of spin glasses (with A. Dembo and A. Guionnet, Probability Theory and Related Fields, Vol 136, no. 4, pp 619-660, 2006); Scaling limits for trap models (with J.Cerny, The Annals of Probability, Vol 35, No. 6, pp 2356-2384, 2007); and Universality of the REM for dynamics of mean-field spin glasses (with A. Bovier and J. Cerny, Communications in Mathematical Physics, vol 282, pp. 633-695, 2008).

He has been the recipient of numerous honors, recognitions, and awards – including the Rollo Davison Prize, the Montyon Prize from the French Academy of Sciences, an invitation as one of the  plenary speakers at the 2nd European Congress in Mathematics,  a Fellowship of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and an elected membership in the International Statistical Institute, among others – and has served in editorial and leadership/service roles in his field, including being the managing editor (with Amir Dembo) of Probability Theory and Related Fields, one of the main editors of the Journal of the European Mathematical Society; associate editor of the Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics, of the Journal of Theoretical Probability, of the Annals of Probability, and the Annales de l’Institut Henri Poincaré; and a member of the Scientific Board of the Simons Foundation, of the American Institute of Mathematics, of the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques, the Scientific Committee of the European Congress of Mathematics, among others.

Professor Ben Arous received his BS (Maitrise) in mathematics from Ecole Normale Supérieure; and his MSc. in statistics, his MSc. in mathematics, and his Ph.D. from the University of Paris.

This Article is in the following Topics:
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Research, Faculty

Type: Article

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

Gérard Ben Arous Appointed Director of Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin today announced the appointment of Gérard Ben Arous, above, a prize-winning mathematician and a professor of mathematics at NYU since 2002, as the Director of NYU’s renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. His appointment becomes effective September 1, 2011.


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