Ph.D. Columbia University, New York, NY, 1959
James Glimm was born in 1934 in Peoria, Illinois, and he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University in 1959. He has made deep and original contributions in a variety of areas in both pure and applied mathematics. His early work in the theory of operator algebras was seminal, and today the "Glimm algebras" that bear his name continue to play an important role in this vibrant area of research. In mathematical physics, Glimm worked on problems in quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics, shock wave theory, and scientific computation. As the chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at SUNY Stony Brook, Glimm built up existing groups in fluid dynamics and statistics and also launched new efforts in computational geometry and computational biology. He has also provided essential scientific leadership for the establishment of the Center for Data Intensive Computing at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
His honors include the New York Academy Prize in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences (1979), the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics (1980), and the AMS Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research (1993). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1984. In 2002, he received the National Medal of Science, the country's highest honor for research in mathematics and science.