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May 4, 2007
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David Gottlieb Elected to National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences has elected David Gottlieb, professor of applied mathematics at Brown University, to become a member of the society of distinguished scholars. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer. Gottlieb’s research focus is numerical analysis and methods of finding more accurate solutions for partial differential equations, with applications in aerodynamics and meteorology.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — David Gottlieb, professor of applied mathematics at Brown University, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors accorded to a scientist or engineer. Gottlieb, who studies numerical analysis and methods for solving partial differential equations, is one of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates elected this year in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.


Gottlieb, who was born in Israel and received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University, joined the Brown faculty in 1985. His research revolves around constructing and applying high-order accuracy methods for the numerical solutions of partial differential equations.

“I am pleased to congratulate David Gottlieb on his election to the National Academy of Sciences,” said Rajiv Vohra, dean of the faculty at Brown. “His intellectual curiosity and passion for mathematics have inspired many in the Brown community and beyond.”

Gottlieb, who found his way to mathematics almost by accident when he missed a deadline for entering the history department, has become a leader in the field. He co-wrote the first book on spectral methods, which have given rise to new areas of scientific computing and found practical applications in understanding turbulence and predicting weather – two extremely complex areas of computer modeling.

Gottlieb chaired the Department of Applied Mathematics at Tel Aviv University before coming to Brown, where he has supervised almost 20 Ph.D. students and built a world-renowned research group studying numerical analysis and scientific computing. He has received many awards including the NASA Group Achievement Award and honorary doctorates from the University of Paris and the University of Uppsala.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

The NAS election was held May 1, 2007, during the 144th annual meeting of the Academy. Those elected bring the total number of active Academy members to 2,025 and foreign associates to 387. Of those, more than 200 individuals have won Nobel Prizes.

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