University of Texas at Austin


SIAM Establishes the Renata Babuška Prize

By John Holden, SIAM

Published Sept. 22, 2022

Ivo and Renata Babuška

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is excited to announce that through the generosity and dedication of longtime SIAM member Dr. Ivo M. Babuška, the Renata Babuška Prize has been established. The prize is named in memory of Dr. Babuška’s late wife, Renata, who passed away in 2020. SIAM is incredibly grateful for this generous gift and looks forward to celebrating the important work of our community through this prize for many years to come.

The prize of $10,000 will be awarded every two years in recognition of high-quality interdisciplinary work that targets any aspect of modeling and numerical solution of a specific engineering or scientific application, including mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, algorithms, and validation. The prize may go to an individual or group of researchers and will be first awarded in 2025.

Dr. Babuška was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1926, and earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Technical University of Prague and his D.Sc. in mathematics from the Czechoslovakia Academy of Sciences. He met his wife, Renata, at Charles University in 1953, where she earned a degree in mathematical statistics. They married in 1957 and immigrated with their two children to College Park, Maryland in 1968. Dr. Babuška was hired as a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park in the mathematics department, and Renata worked as a data and computing management consultant for several government agencies in Washington, D.C. In 1994, the couple moved to Austin, Texas, where Dr. Babuška began his tenure at the Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, which is now the Oden Institute. 

From 1995-2018 he was professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, professor of mathematics, Oden Institute senior research scientist, and a member of the Oden Institute Multiscale Modeling Group at UT Austin. He held the Robert B. Trull Chair in Engineering.  In Spring 2016, Professor Babuška was named the first recipient of the W. A. "Tex'' Moncrief, Jr., Distinguished Faculty Fellowship in Computational Sciences. 

While at the Oden Institute, he created and sponsored both the Babuška Forum and the CSEM Forums speaker series designed to support the needs of Oden Institute CSEM students. Both forums are organized and hosted by current CSEM students. The lvo & Renata Babuska Endowed Excellence Fund was also recently created to help support the Babuška Forum.

Dr. Babuška has made pioneering contributions in the fields of mathematics, applied mathematics, numerical methods, finite element methods, and computational mechanics.

Dr. Babuška has made pioneering contributions in the fields of mathematics, applied mathematics, numerical methods, finite element methods, and computational mechanics. He is noted for his studies of the finite element method (FEM) and the Babuška-Lax-Milgram theorem in partial differential equations. One celebrated result of FEM is the Babuška-Brezzi condition, which provides sufficient conditions for a stable mixed formulation for solutions related to various physical and engineering problems. He has published more than 350 papers, numerous books, and has over 65,000 citations.

Dr. Babuška has been a SIAM member for 36 years and is a 2009 SIAM Fellow. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. 

This article originally appeared in the SIAM News blog. For more info on how to support SIAM click here.