Luis Caffarelli, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics #1 at The University of Texas at Austin, is a recipient of one of the world's biggest prizes for mathematics, the 2018 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences, which comes with a monetary award of $1.2 million. Awarded by the Hong Kong-based Shaw Foundation, the Shaw Prize honors recent breakthroughs by researchers in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and life science and medicine.
This is the first Shaw Prize awarded to a faculty member at UT Austin since its inception in 2002. In 2013, UT Austin alumnus and Nobel laureate Michael Young (Ph.D. '75) was a co-recipient of the Shaw Prize for Life Science and Medicine.
Caffarelli is being recognized "for his groundbreaking work on partial differential equations, including creating a theory of regularity for nonlinear equations such as the Monge-Ampère equation, and free-boundary problems such as the obstacle problem, work that has influenced a whole generation of researchers in the field," according to the prize citation.
Caffarelli is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards including the Rolf Schock Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the American Mathematical Society and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics from the Wolf Foundation.
Caffarelli is also a professor in UT Austin's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.
Caffarelli is a pioneer in methods tackling many classical problems that have long defied mathematicians. He has done seminal work connected to Navier-Stokes equations (whose understanding is one of the Clay Mathematics Millennium Prize Problems), and he is also widely recognized as the world's leading specialist in free-boundary problems for nonlinear partial differential equations. With his collaborators, he has authored more than 250 scientific publications documenting this work.
The 2018 Shaw Prizes will be presented at a ceremony Sept. 26 in Hong Kong.