Accomplishments at UH earn spot in French Academy of Sciences for professor

February 21, 2006

One of the world's leading researchers in applied mathematics and scientific computing, University of Houston Professor Roland Glowinski, was recently elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

Elected to membership on the same day as Yves Chauvin, one of the three 2005 Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry, Glowinski joins some of the most prominent French scholars in this organization and officially will be presented with the honor in a ceremony June 7 in France. Academy membership is a notable honor that is offered to scientists of renowned accomplishment and caliber and has as one of its missions to form associations with foreign scholars to develop scientific knowledge and education. Glowinski, who holds a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Professorship in Mathematics, is also a mechanical engineering professor.

"Roland Glowinski is one of the world's foremost computational scientists," said Jeff Morgan, professor and chair of the mathematics department. "He has played a major role in the development of the department of mathematics, as well as the development of computational sciences on the UH campus. I had the privilege to meet him and learn from him when I was a graduate student, and I feel fortunate to call him a friend and colleague."

Much of Glowinski's work involves computer simulations to describe scientific, medical and engineering problems mathematically. He is well known for his research on new mathematic models of particular flow and for the application of mathematical and computational methods to the design of a new class of heart valves.

Since coming to UH in 1985, Glowinski has received numerous honors, including being elected to the French National Academy of Technology, inducted as a chevalier in the Légion d'Honneur of France and elected a member of the Academia Europaea. He also received the Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor accorded to a UH faculty member, and the Theodore von Kármán Prize, an international honor only awarded every five years.

Upon earning his bachelor's degree in communication engineering, Glowinski worked as engineer for the government-supported French broadcasting system. He then went on to earn his master's and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics, after which he worked as a teacher and researcher at the University Pierre and Marie Curie and at INRIA, the French government's institute of computational science, where he later became scientific director.

More recently, Glowinski received an honorary doctorate from the internationally recognized research campus of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, where he has been a docent professor of computational and applied mathematics since 2001. He also is a professor emeritus at the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI) and an adjunct professor of computational and applied mathematics at Rice University.

During the course of his career, Glowinski has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific articles and six books, as well as served as editor for more than 20 scientific reviews and anthologies.

"While I am proud of my scientific achievements before coming to the University of Houston in 1985, I think very sincerely that my best work has been done after moving here," Glowinski said. "I found very talented collaborators at UH and a very supportive administration. This combination indeed provides ideal conditions to do good research. As evidenced by the Theodore von Kármán Prize I received in 2004 for contributions done the previous 10 years, I'm quite sure my best work ever has been done this last decade and definitely think the work done while at UH is the main reason for my recent election to the French National Academy of Sciences."
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

About the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
The UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, with nearly 400 faculty members and approximately 4,000 students, offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in the natural sciences, computational sciences and mathematics. Faculty members in the departments of biology and biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, geosciences, mathematics and physics have internationally recognized collaborative research programs in association with UH interdisciplinary research centers, Texas Medical Center institutions and national laboratories.

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