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Release: Immediate

UI's Anitescu Wins Prestigious International Math Fellowship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mihai Anitescu, graduate student in the University of Iowa Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, has won the Argonne National Laboratory 1997-98 Wilkinson Fellowship in Scientific Computing, the most prestigious international postdoctoral fellowship in computational mathematics.

He is the first-ever University of Iowa recipient, with previous winners having come from the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University and New York University.

The fellowship is intended to assist a young scientist who is actively engaged in state-of-the-art research in scientific computing. The benefits include a monthly salary of $5,200 and vacation and travel allowances. The appointment is for one year and may be renewed for a second year.

As an Argonne Scholar, he will be assigned to the Mathematics and Computer Science Division, which has research programs in software tools for parallel computing and in numerical methods for linear algebra, optimization and partial differential equations at the Argonne, Ill. laboratory.

Anitescu, who came to the University of Iowa from Bucharest, Romania in 1993, is also the recipient of the Silver Medal at the 1986 International Mathematical Olympiad.

In April 1997 he successfully defended his doctoral thesis under the direction of thesis advisor Florian A. Potra, UI professor in the computer science and mathematics departments. Anitescu's thesis develops a model for simulating motion of rigid bodies with contact and friction, a model useful for creating virtual environments in which a person interacts with computer-created objects, as in a driving simulator.

The fellowship is named in memory of the late James Hardy Wilkinson, noted mathematician and Fellow of the Royal Society, London, who had a close association with Argonne's Mathematics and Computer Science Division as a consultant and project leader. The fellowship is supported by a special grant from the Office of Scientific Computing of the U.S. Department of Energy. Argonne National Laboratory is operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy.