EMS Handbook

5.3 Otto Neugebauer Prize


Otto Eduard Neugebauer (May 26, 1899 – February 19, 1990) was an Austrian-American mathematician and historian of science who became known for his research on the history of mathematics, astronomy and other exact sciences in antiquity and into the Middle Ages. A prize in his honor was established by the EMS in 2011.

Principal guidelines

The Otto Neugebauer Prize is awarded for highly original and influential work in the field of history of mathematics that enhances our understanding of either the development of mathematics or a particular mathematical subject in any period and in any geographical region. The prize may be shared by two or more researchers if the work justifying it is the fruit of collaboration between them. For the purposes of the prize, history of mathematics is to be understood in a very broad sense. It reaches from the study of mathematics in ancient civilisations to the development of modern branches of mathematical research, and it embraces mathematics wherever it has been studied in the world. In terms of the Mathematics Subject Classification it covers the whole spectrum of item 01Axx (History of mathematics and mathematicians). Similarly, there are no no age or geographical restrictions on the origin or place of work of the prize recipient. All methodological approaches to the subject are acceptable.

Description of the award

The award comprises a certificate including the citation and a cash prize of € 5000. The money for the Prize Fund is offered by Springer Verlag. Springer Verlag transfers the money to the EMS Secretariat and the EMS Secretariat transfers the money to the winner.

Prize Committee selection guidelines

The Prize Committee and its chair are appointed every four years by the EC in the year preceding the congress. It consists of five members, with a majority of internationally recognized researches in the history of mathematics. To help with the selection of the committee members, the EMS invites nominations from learned societies in the History of Mathematics and History of Science. Committee members can be appointed at most once.

Nominations for the award

The right to nominate one or several laureates is open to anyone. Nominations are confidential; a nomination should not be made known to the nominee(s). Self-nominations are not acceptable. It is the responsibility of the nominator to provide all relevant information to the Prize Committee, including a CV and a description of the candidate’s work motivating the nomination, together with names of specialists who may be contacted.

The call for nominations is published on the EMS webite and sent to the EMS corporate and individual members in autumn (October – November) two years prior the ECM.

Nominations must be sent to the chair of the Prize Committe and the EMS Secretariat, ems office@helsinki.fi, not later than on December 31 of the year prior to the ECM.

Award presentation

Before ECM the winner names are kept secret. The prize recipients are invited to present their work at the congress.