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Dec. 4: Nicolaides Receives Knaster Professorship


Lauren Ward

Amy Pavlak

Roy Nicolaides Receives Alexander M. Knaster Professorship
As Head of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH—Roy Nicolaides, professor and head of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Carnegie Mellon University, has received the first Alexander M. Knaster Professorship. The Knaster Professorship was established for the head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and recognizes departmental leadership in developing and sustaining traditional as well as emerging disciplines within mathematical sciences. These include internationally recognized education and research programs in applied analysis, computational finance, computational mathematics and scientific computing, continuum mechanics, discrete mathematics and operations research, logic, and stochastic analysis.     

"Nic's interdisciplinary vision contributes to Carnegie Mellon's unique strengths in mathematics," said Richard D. McCullough, dean of the Mellon College of Science. "Nic has been successful at integrating our specialized programs of mathematical research with a diverse range of fields at other Carnegie Mellon schools and colleges to develop top-ranked initiatives, including undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in computational finance. His support has also been central to the growth of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis, which provides forefront research for collaboration among mathematicians and applied scientists."     

NicolaidesNicolaides specializes in computational mathematics, particularly partial differential equations. He has made numerous contributions to the analysis of finite element and finite difference methods in areas like electrodynamics, fluid dynamics, materials science and, most recently, mathematical finance. He joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon in 1980 and became department head in 2002.     

Nicolaides, who earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of London, has co-authored several books, including "Electromagnetics and Its Applications" and "Incompressible Computational Fluid Dynamics — Trends and Advances." He is currently writing a book entitled "Computational Electromagnetics and Its Applications."

Alexander M. Knaster, a native of Moscow and a Carnegie Mellon alumnus, is chairman and CEO of Pamplona Capital Management, an investment management firm. Prior to founding Pamplona, Knaster served as CEO of Alfa Bank in Russia and as general director of Sidanco, Russia's seventh-largest oil company. He earned his bachelor of science in mathematics and electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 1980, and went on to earn a doctorate in economics from the Russian Academy of Science and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1993, Knaster established the Alexander M. Knaster Scholarship Fund at Carnegie Mellon to aid full-time undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

According to the latest rankings by U.S. News and World Report magazine, the Department of Mathematical Sciences is ranked in the top 10 in logic and applied mathematics. For more information on the department, visit