Prize Recipient

Silas D. Alben
Harvard University


"For elegant mathematical and numerical analysis of fluid-structure interaction to elucidate deformation-induced drag reduction of flexible membranes in a wind and induction of forward flight by the symmetry-breaking flapping of wings."


Silas Alben received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, under the direction of Prof. Michael J. Shelley. He obtained his A.B. magna cum laude in Physics and Mathematics from Harvard College in 1999, and spent the following year teaching high school physics in Mexico City. He is currently an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at the Division of the Engineering and Applied Sciences of Harvard University. His current work considers interactions of bodies with vortex sheets with applications to fish swimming, and the crumpling and self-assembly of elastic bodies.

Selection Committee:

James G. Brasseur (Chair), Paul Neitzel (Vice Chair)(11/06), Ellen Longmire (11/05), Ken Melville (11/05), Marc Perlin (11/05), Anette (Peko), Hosoi (12/06), Richard Leighton (12/06)