2011 Honorary Degree
Avner Friedman has had a significant impact on the field of mathematics and its applications in academia, industry, and society through his scientific and professional activities.
Friedman is Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Ohio State University, a position he has held since 2001. His primary field of research is partial differential equations, and his other research interests include stochastic processes, mathematical modeling, free boundary problems, and control theory.
After receiving his Master of Science in 1954 and his doctoral degree in mathematics in 1956, both from the Hebrew University, Friedman began his academic career. Among his posts, he served as professor of mathematics at Northwestern University from 1962 to 1985, as Duncan Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University from 1985 to 1987, and as professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota from 1987 to 2001.
Friedman was a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford each summer from 1982 to 1988. He was the director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota from 1987 to 1997. From 2002 to 2008, he was the founding director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University.
Over his celebrated career, Friedman has been the chair of the Board of Mathematical Sciences and president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Among the honors he has received are the Sloan Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Stampacchia Prize, and two National Science Foundation Special Creativity Awards.
Friedman has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1987 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1993. He has served on the editorial boards of more than 25 scholarly journals in the field of mathematics and on various scientific advisory committees, including those of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), for which he served as chair. He currently serves on the board of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Singapore.
His passion for higher education has manifested itself through the mentorship and education of generations of scholars. He has advised 27 doctoral students, published 20 books, and authored more than 400 papers and reports. He has delivered copious conference lectures and colloquia worldwide for the past 25 years.
Friedman is married and has four children.