Call for Nominations of Candidates for the EMS/ECMI Lanczos prize for Mathematical Software – deadline December 31st 2023


One of the main ways mathematical advances have impact in science, engineering, society, and industry is via their implementation in software. In order to reward and recognise exceptional research in the development of mathematical software, the European Mathematical Society (EMS) and the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry (ECMI) have decided to establish the Lanczos Prize for Mathematical Software. Cornelius Lanczos (1893-1974) was a pioneer of the development and implementation of numerical algorithms on digital computers.

Principal Guidelines

The Prize is to be awarded to a mathematician or scientist, or a group of mathematicians and scientists, for the development of outstanding mathematical software with important applications in mathematics, science, engineering, society or industry.

Eligibility for the Prize is restricted to software whose source is available to the general public for scrutiny. Commercial software meeting this criterion is explicitly welcomed.

We anticipate that many eligible software projects will have a core group of contributors and a larger group of occasional contributors. There is no limit to the number of authors nominated, but nominations with more than five authors should be very carefully justified.

Nominations for the Award

The Prize Committee is responsible for solicitation and the evaluation of nominations. Submissions are to be made by self-nomination. A nomination will consist of

  • a three-page summary addressing the evaluation criteria;
  • a letter of support from a user of the software that is not nominated;
  • one or more scientific papers or technical reports describing the software and its uses;
  • CVs of those being nominated, at most 2 pages per author;
  • a one-page report containing:
  • a link to the project’s website, and to the publicly available source code;
  • a citation for a persistent archive of the software as of the date of submission (e.g. via Zenodo), to provide a permanently archived snapshot of the software;
  • links to: the software’s documentation, examples of its use, test programs, and scripts for executing those test programs;
  • for software with complex installation procedures, we recommend that a suitable container be prepared to simplify the prize committee’s task (e.g. a Docker or Singularity container).

The submission should be made as one PDF.

Evaluation Criteria

The Lanczos Prize is primarily awarded based on the following criteria:

  • the demonstrated and potential impact of the software on science, engineering, society or industry;
  • the efficiency, robustness, and quality of the software implementation;
  • the clarity of exposition of documentation, examples, website, and related publications;
  • its sustained activity in both development and maintenance;
  • the importance of the class of mathematical problems solved.

The secondary criteria are:

  • the novelty of the mathematical ideas underpinning the software;
  • the size and growth rate of its user base.

Description of the Award

The award comprises a certificate and a cash prize of €3000.

Award Presentation

The Prize will be presented at the Ninth European Congress of Mathematics in Seville, July 15–19, 2024. The recipients will be invited to present their work at the congress.

Prize Fund

The money for the Prize fund is jointly offered by the European Mathematical Society and the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry.

Prize Committee

The prize committee consists of

Patrick Farrell (Oxford)
Lawrence Mitchell (NVIDIA)
Elena Celledoni (NTNU)
Marc Pfetsch (TU Darmstadt)
Sharon Glotzer (Michigan)
William Stein (SageMath)
Jennifer Balakrishnan (Boston)

Deadline for Submission

Nominations for the prize should be submitted electronically to the chair of the Prize Committee, Professor Patrick Farrell (University of Oxford) with the EMS Office in cc by December 31, 2023.

Email any queries about the prize to Professor Patrick Farrell (University of Oxford),

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