Indiana University Bloomington

IU's newest mathematician receives Vietnam's highest honor in field for young academics

Nam Le to begin teaching, research during fall semester

  • March 5, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University’s newest Department of Mathematics faculty member has yet to arrive on campus, but when Nam Q. Le does begin his first semester this fall, his reputation will have preceded him. Le, a former Ritt Assistant Professor at Columbia University now at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, has been recognized as that country’s top young mathematician.

Le has been awarded the academy's 2013 Scientific Prize of the Institute of Mathematics, an honor given every two years to someone who has made outstanding achievements in mathematical research and who is not over 40 years old.

His broad mathematical interests are in partial differential equations, geometric analysis and the calculus of variations. His specific areas of research and study include linearized Monge-Ampère equations and their applications to nonlinear, fourth-order geometric partial differential equations, mean curvature flow, and gamma-convergence and its applications in mathematical physics.

Recognized academic excellence in mathematics as a young researcher also appears to be in Le’s lineage. His dissertation advisor at New York University, where he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics, was Sylvia Serfaty, the 2004 winner of the European Mathematical Society Prize that recognizes excellent contributions by young researches not older than 35.

“We are pleased and excited that Nam Le will be joining the IU Bloomington family as our department’s newest faculty member this fall,” said Kevin Zumbrun, chair of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics. “For him to begin what we hope will be a long and productive career here on the heels of his country’s most prestigious award for a young mathematician bodes well for both the department and for the Indiana University family.”

Le has most recently been a researcher at the Institute of Mathematics and a senior researcher at the Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, both in Hanoi. Before that, he was a former Ritt Assistant Professor at Columbia University. He received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Vietnam National University in 2002, where he was named valedictorian.

In 2012, Le was named a Visiting Fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Institute at Australian National University and visited the IU Bloomington campus to present an invited talk at the Department of Mathematics colloquium on “The linearized Monge-Ampère equation and its geometric applications.”

Born in 1980, Le has 17 published or accepted research papers and has given 34 invited talks.

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