Department News

Haïm Brezis Awarded 2024 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement


The 2024 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement is awarded to Haïm Brezis for his outstanding and seminal contributions in several fields of Nonlinear Functional Analysis and Partial Differential Equations, and for his remarkable influence in mathematics, in particular through his exceptional training of PhD students. His book on Functional Analysis, Sobolev Spaces and Partial Differential Equations, has been used for forty years as a classical textbook in many universities worldwide; first published in French in 1983, it has been reprinted, expanded, and translated into eight languages.

Haim Brezis outsideHaïm BrezisCredit: Miriam Brezis

“Brezis has greatly contributed to leading and shaping the fields of Nonlinear Analysis and Partial Differential Equations and how the main questions are posed,” the prize citation notes. “He has started and animated several different areas of analysis, for example maximal monotone operators, gradient flows and weak notions of degree. His papers contain gems with beautiful unexpected statements. His philosophy of action, which always starts with simple and easily understandable questions, has been adopted by many of his numerous students. Although a pure mathematician at heart, his mathematics has often been motivated by, or found its way back to, applications — for example to liquid crystals and to Ginzburg-Landau vortices in the theory of superconductivity.”

Brezis’s legacy as an educator is in the many students and associates who went on to outstanding careers; he has supervised fifty-eight PhD theses. “In addition to his role as a teacher, leader, and researcher, he has contributed greatly to the community through his many editorial roles and through influential posts such as vice-president of the American Mathematical Society,” continues the citation. Brezis is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.