Robert May has received the 1998 Balzan prize for Biodiversity. He was awarded the prize "for his seminal contributions to the mathematical analysis of biodiversity, in particular his pioneering work on chaos theory and ecological systems, and the development of a variety of methods for estimating the total number of species alive on earth today and their rates of extinction." Presented by the International Prize Foundation E. Balzan, the prize carries a financial award of 500,000 Swiss francs. Together with two other prize winners, historian Andrzej Walicki and geochemist Harmon Craig, Robert May received the prize in a ceremony held on November 23m 1998, in Rome.
The Engineering and Biological Systems Committee of the BBSRC now promotes Theoretical Biology in its thematic programme. This means that the committee will accept applications in response mode for projects which involve the application of mathematical and/or statistical tools to important and timely biotechnological and biological problems. These tools may comprise existing techniques or represent substantive development of new theory, the important criteria being that they are the most appropriate to the problem being addressed and that they advance our understanding.
Amongst the usual measures which include the scientific quality of the proposal, and the significance and timeliness of the biological problem being addressed, the proposals are judged on the clarity of the links between the proposed theoretical work and the biological system. For example, it is important to explicitly state how the form of unknown functions may be derived from existing or new data, how parameters will be obtained, and the impact of uncertainty in these parameters for the interpretation of the theory. Since very few referees are likely to grasp all of the theoretical and experimental concepts, it is important that the proposal is written as clearly as possible, so that the importance of the contribution from both fields can be appreciated by non-experts. The proposals will be interdisciplinary and the requested funding should reflect the needs of all aspects of the work. It is clear, therefore, that successful proposals are most likely to be those that represent a genuine and close collaboration between theoreticians and experimentalists.
Further details of this theme can be obtained from the BBSRC web page, or informal enquiries can be addressed to Amie Smirthwaite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This list covers chaos theory and its applications: biology, chemistry, economy, finance, astrology, medicine, thermodynamics etc.
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Wen Chen has established a forum for nonlinear numerical computation
One of Wen's major research interests is in nonlinear computations and analysis, especially for novel nonlinear matrix analysis approaches. Some published papers of his are available on this site.