Russel Caflisch is an applied mathematician whose research is on analysis and numerical methods for physical sciences. He is known for analysis of the fluid dynamic limit in kinetic theory and of vortex sheets in incompressible flow, for mathematical modeling of epitaxial growth, and for development of Monte Carlo methods for kinetic theory and finance. He is currently director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University and was director of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA 2008-2017. Caflisch graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in mathematics in 1975, and received his PhD in mathematics in 1978 at the Courant Institute, NYU. He held faculty positions at Stanford University, NYU and UCLA, before returning to NYU in 2017. He was a recipient of a Hertz Graduate Fellowship and a Sloan Research Fellowship. He is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the American Mathematical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Russ Caflisch's research is on analysis and numerical methods for physical systems, in particular for special solutions and robust numerical methods in singular limits. For kinetics of fluids and plasmas, his results include analysis of the fluid limit and of shock wave solutions for the nonlinear Boltzmann equation, and accelerated simulation methods that are a hybrid of a continuum fluid solver and a Monte Carlo particle solver. For fluid dynamics, he analyzed the development of singularities for vortex sheets, extended this method to the Muskat problem and to a complexified generalization of the incompressible Euler equations, and analyzed the Prandtl equations for a viscous boundary layer. He developed a Brownian bridge method and other adapted and accelerated numerical techniques for quasi-Monte Carlo methods, which are now widely used in finance. He was a leader of a group of mathematicians and materials scientists that developed a level set method and an island dynamics model for epitaxial growth. As a generalization of compressed sensing, he applied techniques of sparsity and soft-thresholding to PDEs and physics.

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Primary Section

Section 32: Applied Mathematical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 11: Mathematics