Barbara Keyfitz Receives Esther Farfel Award

Keyfitz Becomes Second Member of Her Family to Earn Farfel Award

Photo of Dr. Barbara KeyfitzBarbara Keyfitz, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Mathematics, has earned the University of Houston 2006 Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor UH bestows on a faculty member.

Keyfitz is the first female scientist to receive the award and the second person in her family to hold the honor. Her husband, Martin Golubitsky, Cullen Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and director of the Institute for Theoretical Engineering and Science, is the 1997 recipient.

A native of Canada, Keyfitz, is a female pioneer in the field of mathematics. In 2004, she became the first woman director of Canada's Fields Institute, which brings together mathematicians from around the world to conduct research and formulate problems of broad mutual interest.

At the Fields Institute, Keyfitz continues her work in applied mathematics, particularly in the study of nonlinear partial differential equations, such as those arising in the study of fluid flow or transonic shock waves, creating tools to use in analyzing models.

In addition to her responsibilities as the institute's director, Keyfitz juggles her UH duties, which include teaching Finite Math with Applications - a distance education and distance teaching class - and advising postdoctoral students this semester.

Keyfitz earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Toronto and a master's and doctorate in mathematics from New York University. She held positions at Columbia, Princeton and Arizona State universities before joining the UH faculty as associate professor in 1983.

She has written articles in nearly 40 journals, edited two books and served on the editorial boards of numerous journals. Keyfitz also made short visits to such institutions as Chinese University of Hong Kong's Institute of Mathematics and Taiwan's National Center for Theoretical Sciences.

Keyfitz participates in many professional organizations, serving as an officer of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, reviewer and adviser to the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Council and president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She also is an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow and chair of its mathematics section.