Robert Sedgewick has been awarded the 2019 Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition from the American Mathematical Society for his work on Analytic Combinatorics (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Sedgewick co-authored the book – and shares the prize – with his friend Phillippe Flajolet, who passed away in 2011. More information about the prize can be found on the AMS site. Sedgewick reflects on the genesis for Analytic Combinatorics here:
Philippe and I (and many others) were students of the work of Don Knuth in the 1970s, and inspired by the idea that it was possible to develop precise information about the performance of computer programs through classical analysis. When we first began working together in 1980, our goal was just to organize models and methods that we could use to teach our students what they needed to know. As we traveled between Paris and Princeton, producing conference papers, journal articles, and INRIA research reports, we began to understand that something more general was at work, and Analytic Combinatorics began to emerge. It is particularly gratifying to see citations of the book by researchers in physics, chemistry, genomics, and many other fields of science, not just mathematicians and computer scientists.
In addition to the text, Sedgewick produced video lectures to accompany Analytic Combinatorics that are available on Coursera. The prize will be formally awarded on Thursday, January 17 at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.