Abhay Ashtekar, Penn State
Professor Matthew Choptuik of the University of Texas at Austin won this year's Basilis C. Xanthopoulos International Award in General Relativity and Cosmology.
The Award was set up by the Foundation for Research and Technology -Hellas in memory of Professor Xanthopoulos who was gunned down (while giving a seminar) by a madman in 1990. It is given tri-annually to a scientist, below 40 years of age, who has made outstanding (preferably theoretical) contributions to gravitational physics. The monetary value of the Award is approximately $10,000. The previous winners of the Award are Professors Demetrios Christodoulou, Gary Horowitz and Carlo Rovelli.
Over the past two years, the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation (GRG) and the Foundation for Research and Technology -Hellas reached an agreement and from now on the prize be presented by the President of the GRG Society during its tri-annual conferences. Before each conference, the winner will be chosen by a selection committee consisting of five to seven distinguished scientists, each serving for two to three rounds. An advisory Board will oversee the Award and ensure that the original intent of the Award continues to be served.
Professor Choptuik received the Award during the last GRG conference in Poona, India from the then President of the GRG Society, Professor Jürgen Ehlers. He was honored for his seminal contributions to numerical relativity, in particular for the discovery of critical phenomena associated with gravitational collapse.