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Leroy P. Steele Prizes

Each year, The Steele Prize is awarded in the following categories.  The amount of each prize is US$5,000.

  1. The Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement is awarded for the cumulative influence of the total mathematical work of the recipient, high level of research over a period of time, particular influence on the development of a field, and influence on mathematics through Ph.D. students.

  2. The Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition is awarded for a book or substantial survey or expository research paper.

  3. The Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research is awarded for a paper, whether recent or not, that has proved to be of fundamental or lasting importance in its field, or a model of important research.

Special Note: beginning with the 1994 prize, there has been a five-year cycle of fields for the Seminal Contribution to Research Award.  That cycle would have the 2015 in algebra, 2016 in applied mathematics, 2017 in geometry/topology, and 2018 in discrete mathematics (logic alternates with discrete mathematics every five years), 2019 in analysis, and 2020 in algebra renewing the cycle.

Most Recent Prizes

Lifetime Achievement: January 2015
The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Prize was awarded to Victor Kac for his groundbreaking contributions to Lie Theory and its applications to Mathematics and Mathematical Physics.

Mathematical Exposition: January 2015
The 2015 Mathematical Exposition Prize was awarded to Robert Lazarsfeld for his books "Positivity in Algebraic Geometry I and II", published in 2004.  These books were instant classics that have profoundly influenced and shaped research in algebraic geometry over the past decade.

Seminal Contribution to Research: January 2015
The 2015 Seminal Contribution to Research Prize was awarded to Rostislav Grigorchuk for his influential paper "Degrees of growth of finitely generated groups and the theory of invariant means," which appeared in Russian in 1984 in Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR. Seriya Matematicheskaya and in English translation a year later. The paper stands as a landmark in the development of the now-burgeoning area of geometric group theory.

Next Prize
January 2016

Nomination Procedure
Nominations with supporting information should be submitted, during the nomination period, through this online form: ams.org/profession/prizes-awards/nominations. Include a short description of the work that is the basis of the nomination, including complete bibliographic citations. A curriculum vitae should be included. Nominations for the Steele Prizes for Lifetime Achievement and for Mathematical Exposition will remain active and receive consideration for three consecutive years. Those who prefer to submit by regular mail may  send nominations to the AMS Secretary, Professor Carla Savage, Box 8206, Computer Science Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8206. Those  nominations will be forwarded by the Secretary to the prize selection committee.

Previous Prizes
The Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement
The Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition
The Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research

More About this Prize
These prizes were established in 1970 in honor of George David Birkhoff, William Fogg Osgood, and William Caspar Graustein, and are endowed under the terms of a bequest from Leroy P. Steele. From 1970 to 1976 one or more prizes were awarded each year for outstanding published mathematical research; most favorable consideration was given to papers distinguished for their exposition and covering broad areas of mathematics. In 1977 the Council of the AMS modified the terms under which the prizes are awarded. In 1993, the Council formalized the three categories of the prize by naming each of them: (1) The Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement; (2) The Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition; and (3) The Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research.