Return to the AWM Home Page

Cathleen S. Morawetz wins National Medal of Science

On December 8, 1998, President Clinton announced the 1998 recipients of the nation‘s highest science and technology honors, the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology. AWM is happy to announce that one of the recipients is Cathleen S. Morawetz.

The White House Press Office release says,

“These extraordinary scientists and engineers have applied their creativity, resolve, and restless spirit of innovation to ensure continued U.S. leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge,” President Clinton said. “By sustaining our investments in science and technology, we ensure that America remains at the forefront of scientific capability, thereby enhancing our ability to build a better America for the twenty-first century.”

The National Medal of Science, established by Congress in 1959 and administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals for contributions to the present state of knowledge in a variety of science frontiers. Including this year’s recipients, the Medal of Science has been awarded to 362 distinguished scientists and engineers.

It goes on to describe the history and selection process for the National Medal of Science.

The National Medal of Science is the nation’s highest scientific honor. Established by Congress in 1959, it was intended to be bestowed annually by the President of the United States on a select group of individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences. Congress expanded this definition in 1980 to recognize outstanding work in the social and behavioral sciences. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy awarded the first Medal of Science to the late Theodore Von Karmen, the president emeritus of aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Including the nine 1998 winners, 362 individuals have been awarded the Medal of Science.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers the Medal of Science program for the President. A distinguished independent, 12-member, presidential-appointed committee reviews the nominations and sends its list of recommendations to the President for final selection. The committee is comprised of outstanding scientists and engineers from a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences. Serving as ex officio members are the president of the National Academy of Sciences and the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy.

The description of Morawetz reads,

Cathleen S. Morawetz, Professor Emerita at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University in New York, New York, for pioneering advances in partial differential equations and wave propagation resulting in application to aerodynamics, acoustics, and optics.

More about Morawetz and the National Medal of Science...

More about Morawetz and her work...


Copyright ©2005 Association for Women in Mathematics. All rights reserved.