Hai Dang Nguyen Awarded a 2019 SIAM Prize

June 2019 Prize Spotlight: SIAM Conference on Control and Its Applications

Hai Dang Nguyen was awarded the 2019 SIAM Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory Prize at the SIAM Conference on Applications of Control (CT19), held June 19-21, 2019 in Chengdu, China. Professor Nguyen received the award and delivered his prize lecture, “Some New Techniques for Recurrence and Stability of Diffusion Processes in a Random Environment,” on June 21, 2019. The award recognizes him for his significant contributions to a broad range of topics in stochastic systems theory, including switching diffusion processes and applications in biological systems.

The SIAM Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory awards the SIAM Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory Prize every two years to one individual in their early career for distinguished research contributions to the mathematical theory of systems and control in the three calendar years preceding the award year. One key paper published in English in a peer-reviewed journal must be cited as evidencing the contributions. The candidate must be either a graduate student or the key paper must have been published no more than three years after the candidate received their PhD.

Hai Dang Nguyen is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Alabama. He received his PhD in applied mathematics from the Department of Mathematics at Wayne State University in 2018. His research interests include stochastic processes, stochastic control, dynamical systems and their applications in ecology and infectious disease.

Q: Why are you excited about winning the prize?

A: It is a great honor for me to receive the SIAM Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory Prize. I am thrilled that my research contributions have been recognized by my distinguished colleagues and SIAM. I am very excited and looking forward to giving the lecture at the 2019 SIAM Conference on Control and its Applications. I am very grateful to the people who nominated me, and my thanks also go to the SIAM Activity Group on Control and Systems the prize selection committee.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about the research that won you the prize?

A: My research focuses on control and systems theory, in particular, stabilization and stability of stochastic differential systems with or without delays and their applications to population dynamics in order to understand how the fluctuations of environments facilitate or suppress the growth of interacting species or infectious disease. Understanding stochastic mechanisms is the key to enacting biological control strategies and conservation policies so as to maintain the abundance of populations and to control epidemics.

Q: What does your research mean to the public?

A: Our research aims to develop technical tools combining control and systems theory and probability theory with applications to ecology and epidemiology to enhance our understanding of how species and diseases evolve under environmental fluctuations, especially as climate change is now a resurgent threat to ecological sustainability. We also hope to develop control-theory-based harvesting strategies that keep the balance between ecological and economic benefits.

Q: What does being a SIAM member mean to you?

A: I have been a member of SIAM and SIAG/CST since I was a graduate student. SIAM activities are a valuable means of communication for mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and practitioners. My research has enormously benefited from SIAM publications, presentations, and discussions during SIAM conferences. They help me to keep posted on contemporary research, to build interdisciplinary collaborations, and to disseminate my ideas.

This article was originally posted at SIAM.org.