April 23, 2013

Ed Saff Elected to Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Professor Ed Saff, a member of Vanderbilt’s Mathematics Department since  2001, has been elected a Foreign Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. According to Stefan Vodenicharov, president of the academy, Saff was selected in recognition of “our high esteem for his merits and activities as  a world-renowned scientist in the field of mathematics and to constructive approximation in particular.” President Vodenicharov also expressed gratitude on behalf of the Bulgarian community for Saff’s contributions to the enhancement of cooperation between scientists of Bulgaria and the United States.

Saff’s engagement with the Bulgarian mathematical community spans more than two decades. He has lectured extensively in Bulgaria, at the Bulgarian Academy as well as at major universities, and  has published collaborative work with many Bulgarian mathematicians. He has also mentored two Bulgarian Ph.D. students.

Saff has sponsored a number of Bulgarian scientists on visits to the U.S. to pursue research and gain teaching experience. “For many of them, it was their first opportunity to experience Western culture,” he says. “They’re all now well-recognized researchers in their fields.”

Saff helped initiate and continues to serve on the Popov Prize Committee, which commemorates the distinguished Bulgarian mathematician Vasil A. Popov (1942-1990). The prize has been awarded in the U.S. every third year since 1998 for outstanding research contributions in fields related to Popov’s work.

“Bulgaria may not have the wealth of resources that the United States has, but it certainly has a wealth of mathematical talent and maintains high research standards. I tried to make a difference there, and so feel very much gratified by the honor,” says Saff.

The Honorary Diploma will be conferred at the International Conference on Constructive Theory of Functions in Sozopol, Bulgaria June 10, 2013. Saff, who was recently elected as an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, is also recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship.