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David Mumford to receive the National Medal of Science

 
Brown University
 
October 17, 2010
 
David Mumford, professor emeritus of applied mathematics at Brown, has been awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor. Mumford will receive the medal from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony later this year. The White House announced the 2010 recipients today.

“As collaborator and catalyst, David Mumford was an early contributor to fields of inquiry that have blossomed at Brown — brain science, computer vision, neurobiology, cognitive science, the biology and psychology of perception — and to his own areas of pure and applied mathematics,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. “He continues to inspire collaborators in many fields, former students now in productive careers, and his professional colleagues in the United States and abroad.”

The National Medal of Science was established by Congress in August 1959 to be conferred directly by the President. President John F. Kennedy presented the inaugural medal to engineer and physicist Theodore von Kármán of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in February 1963.

Previous recipients include behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, geneticist Barbara McClintock, immunologist Linus Pauling, aeronautical engineer Wernher von Braun, cosmologist James Van Allen, molecular biologist James D. Watson, and mathematician Oscar Zariski, who was Mumford’s thesis adviser. In all, 441 distinguished scientists have received the National Medal of Science.
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