Robert Kohn and Louis Nirenberg, professors in NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, have been named winners of the 2014 Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research.
The prize, which they share with Luis Caffarelli, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is given by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). It will be awarded during the AMS/Mathematical Association of America’s Joint Mathematics Meetings, to be held in January in Baltimore, MD.
The trio was recognized for its 1982 paper, “Partial regularity of suitable weak solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations.” Published in the journal Communications Pure and Applied Mathematics, the work “was and remains a landmark in the understanding of the behavior of solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations and has been a source of inspiration for a generation of mathematicians,” AMS said in the prize citation.
The Navier-Stokes equations are fundamental to the mathematical understanding of fluid dynamics and are at the center of one of the million-dollar Millennium Prize Problems of the Clay Mathematics Institute, the society noted.
“The work of Caffarelli-Kohn-Nirenberg was a major advance in understanding these equations,” AMS said in announcing the award. “Their paper has functioned as a kind of textbook for a whole generation of researchers who worked on the Navier-Stokes equations and motivated many later developments and simplifications.”
The Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research is awarded for a paper that has proved to be of fundamental or lasting importance in its field or a model of important research.