## Prize Description

The Vasil A. Popov Prize was established in memory of the late Professor Vasil A. Popov of Bulgaria in recognition of his outstanding contributions to mathematics. The Prize was created in 1995 and has been maintained solely by contributions from his colleagues, friends, and those who support the existence of such a prize. The Prize recognizes distinguished research accomplishments in Approximation Theory and related areas of mathematics. Eligibility for the Prize is restricted to young mathematicians removed less than 6 years from their doctoral degree.

The Vasil A. Popov Prize, which consists of an engraved marble trophy and a cash award of 2000 euros, is awarded every third year at the Foundation of Computational Mathematics (FoCM) conference.

The Vasil A. Popov Prize is good for mathematics ! It brings recognition to an important area of mathematical research, bridging theory and applications, and encourages young talented mathematicians engaging into this area.

The First Prize in 1995 was awarded to **Albert Cohen** (Paris VI) ; the Second Prize in 1998 to **Arno Kuijlaars** (Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium) ; the Third Prize in 2001 to **Emmanuel Candes** (Cal Tech) ; the Fourth Prize in 2004 to **Serguei Denissov** (University of Wisconsin-Madison) ; the Fifth Prize in 2007 to **Mauro Maggioni** (Duke University) ; the Sixth Prize in 2010 to **Joel A. Tropp** (California Institute of Technology) ; the Seventh Prize in 2013 to **Andriy Bondarenko** (National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv) ; the Eighth Prize in 2016 to **Jean-Marie Mirebeau** (CNRS, Université Paris-Sud) ; the Ninth Prize in 2020 to **Danylo Radchenko** (ETH, Zurich) ; and the Tenth Prize in 2023 to **Matthew Colbrook** (Cambridge University).

If you are interested in donating to the Popov Foundation, please visit our Donate Now page.

## Selection Committee

The Selection Committee for the Vasil A. Popov Prize consists of :

Albert Cohen, Chair(Université Pierre et Marie Curie),Wolfgang Dahmen(RWTH Aachen and University of South Carolina),Karlheinz Gröchenig(Universität Wien),Carla Manni(Universita di Roma Tor Vergata),Pencho Petrushev, Co-Chair(University of South Carolina),Gabriele Steidl(Technische Universität Berlin), andVilmos Totik(University of Szeged).

## Vasil A. Popov

Vasil Popov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, on January 14, 1942. His father was a Doctor in Philosophy and his mother, a leading French translator, was a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Literature. From the early days of communism his father was prosecuted for his political ideas. This left lasting marks on Vasil’s youth and affected his career choices later in life. He was married to Alexandra and had two sons : Alexandar and Atanas.

Young Vasil grew up smart and outgoing with a broad range of interests and skills. He played the piano, and took the full university courses on physics and mathematics simultaneously in only three and half years. His father’s background made science one of the few apolitical career options available. In 1965 Vasil Popov graduated from the Department of Mathematics at Sofia University and took a permanent position at the Institute of Mathematics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He became a Senior scientist in 1974, a Full Professor in 1981, and the youngest Corresponding Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1984. Throughout his career he taught mathematics at the Sofia University. He also visited many international research centers, such as the Steklov Institute in Moscow, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and Temple University in Philadelphia. Vasil Popov died in Philadelphia on May 31, 1990.

His research focused primarily in Approximation theory. His PhD thesis « Convex Approximation’’ was written under the supervision of Blagovest Sendov and defended in 1971. He received a Doctor of Sciences degree in 1977 with a dissertation on « Direct and Converse Theorems in Approximation Theory ». Dr. Popov’s work included numerous publications and textbooks. He helped establish Bulgaria as an international scientific center by organizing multiple conferences and seminars. He guided more than 15 doctoral students, many of them continuing his work in Approximation theory and related areas in mathematics today.

Vasil Popov’s talent and creative energy made him a burning star that set early. His death was a great loss for the Bulgarian mathematics community, but his achievements and ideas continue to inspire many followers.

## Previous Winners

The Vasil A. Popov Prize was initiated in 1995 to honor the life and mathematics of Vasil Popov (1942-1990), the Bulgarian analyst best known for his work in Nonlinear Approximation. This Prize is awarded every 3 years by a select committee of eminent mathematicians, and is given for outstanding research done in approximation theory and other fields related to Vasil Popov’s work. Only young mathematicians— ie, a person who has received their PhD degree within the past six years— are eligible for the prize. Following is a list of previous winners of this prize since its inception.

**Danylo Radchenko (2020 – Ninth Prize Recipient)****Jean-Marie Mirebeau (2016 – Eighth Prize Recipient)****Andriy Bondarenko (2013 – Seventh Prize Recipient)****Joel A. Tropp (2010 – Sixth Prize Recipient)****Mauro Maggioni (2007 – Fifth Prize Recipient)****Serguei Denissov (2004 – Fouth Prize Recipient)****Emmanuel Candes (2001 – Third Prize Recipient)****Arno Kuijlaars (1998 – Second Prize Recipient)****Albert Cohen (1995 – First Prize Recipient)**

## Donate now

Help us recognize and support the distinguished research accomplishments of young mathematicians working in Approximation Theory and related areas. The Popov prize fund is currently hosted by the ** Fondation Science Mathematiques de Paris (FSMP)**. All donations are directed to the Vasil A. Popov Prize ensuring that 100% of your contribution benefits the mathematicians we recognize with this award.

**Your support is very much appreciated !**