Joseph G. Polchinski, professor of physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been named one of two winners of the 2007 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics given by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society (APS). The other winner is Juan Maldacena, professor of theoretical physics
in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
The citation for Polchinski's award reads, "For profound developments in mathematical physics that have illuminated interconnections and launched major research areas in quantum field theory, string theory, and gravity."
The prize will be presented at the APS April 2007 meeting in Jacksonville, Fla. at a special ceremonial session. The Dannie Heineman award was established to encourage further research in the field of mathematical physics. Since 1959, the prize has been administered jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics.
A native New Yorker, Polchinski received a B. S. degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1975 and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1980. After two two-year stints as a research associate, first at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) and then at Harvard University, Polchinski joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor in 1984. He advanced to associate professor there in 1987 and to professor in 1990. He accepted his professorial appointment at UC Santa Barbara in 1992.