Microscopic view of a cell

CAIMS-SCMAI Research Prize

The society’s pre-eminent research award recognizes innovative and exceptional research contributions in applied or industrial mathematics.

This prize was established in 2003. The award will consist of a prize of $1,000 and a commemorative plaque that will be presented at the CAIMS • SCMAI Annual Meeting. The recipient will be invited to give a plenary lecture at the Annual Meeting in the year of the award. A travel allowance will be provided.

Nominations will be evaluated annually by the Research Prize Committee; their decisions are final. Nomination packages should provide evidence of research excellence by the nominee in applied or industrial mathematics. The committee may seek advice from experts as needed.

Nominations shall consist of:
  1. a title for the nomination designating research contributions in a specific area,
  2. a media summary of the research contributions (five-line press release),
  3. a detailed description (maximum two pages) of the research contributions of the nominee in the specified area,
  4. a curriculum vitae including the list of publications
  5. four reprints.

To submit an application for this award, go to Open Nominations page.

2018 Prize Winner: Leon Glass

It is a great honour for the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematical Society to present the Research Prize to Dr. Leon Glass from McGill University. Dr. Leon Glass, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, has made seminal contributions to research, education and community leadership.


His early research on dynamic genetic networks in the 1970’s and 80’s has laid the foundation of major developments in systems biology. Through L. Glass’ work, tools from dynamical system theory became available for the analysis of large genetic networks.


In collaboration with M Mackey, L. Glass studied delayed feedback control in physiological systems. They found, for the first time, that chaotic dynamics arise naturally in such  feedback systems. Their paper in Science from 1977 has more than 4000 citations and their model is now known as the Mackey-Glass


A special interest of L. Glass is the analysis and detection of cardiac arrhythmias. He and his colleagues could show the existence of chaotic dynamics in embryonic chicken heart cells, which was the first demonstration of chaotic behaviour in a biological system. J. Gleick wrote in his popular science book “Chaos” about Glass that this was “one of the most talked about lines of research in the whole short history of nonlinear dynamics” (1987). L. Glass’ research on cardiac arrhythmias culminated in patents for a detection software of cardiac arrhythmias.


L. Glass is a true interdisciplinary researcher, with publications in mathematics, biology, and physiology journals. He educated students in all these disciplines and guided them to fully interdisciplinary research. His work is unique within our Society and his career is a role model for the next generation of mathematical physiologists.

Award Winners

Leon Glass

James Feng

Leah Edelstein Keshet

Thomas Hillen

Michael Doebeli

Neil Balmforth

Troy Day

Michael Ward

Uri Ascher

Mark Lewis

J. Alan George

Gordon Swaters

Michael Mackey

Michel Fortin

Bob Russell

Jianhong Wu