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The award for young mathematicians recognized work by De Simoi (Ph.D. ’09, mathematics) in dynamical systems.

Jacopo De Simoi (Ph.D. ’09, mathematics) was awarded the 2020 Coxeter-James Prize by the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) for his work in dynamical systems. The prize, which was first awarded in 1978, recognizes young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research. The University of Toronto assistant professor of mathematics will receive his award and present a prize lecture during the CMS Winter Meeting in Montreal in December 2020.

De Simoi works mainly in the field of dynamical systems, but his interests span from near integrable systems to strongly chaotic ones. He has worked on some of the most prominent outstanding problems in the field, from the study of the standard map to the statistical properties of partially hyperbolic systems.

De Simoi—together with Carlangelo Liverani, a mathematics professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata—published two papers in Inventiones Mathematicae that dramatically impact the theory of chaos in slow-fast dynamical systems. Such systems arise naturally in classical problems of Hamiltonian dynamics and should be thought of as having two characteristic time scales; the rough picture of the dynamics can be captured by a suitable averaging of the behavior of the orbits. By understanding the combination of slow-fast dynamics as a small random perturbation of the averaged dynamical system, De Simoi and Liverani proved that it exhibits a strong form of chaos for a new class of dynamical systems that forms an open set in a parameter space.

De Simoi received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Pisa in Italy. After receiving his doctorate at UMD, he held postdoctoral positions in Paris, Rome and Toronto.

This article was adapted from text on the CMS website: https://cms.math.ca/MediaReleases/2020/coxeterjames