Simon Singh and MoMath to receive 2016 JPBM Communications Awards



IMAGE: Simon Singh has won the 2016 JPBM Communications Award for Expository and Popular Books.

Credit: Photo by Nick Smith

Simon Singh, a science writer and broadcaster, and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City, are receiving 2016 Communications Awards of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM). Singh is receiving the 2016 JPBM Communications Award for Expository and Popular Books, while MoMath is receiving the 2016 JPBM Communications Award for Public Outreach.

The JPBM represents the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Simon Singh

Although Simon Singh is not a mathematician himself — his doctorate is in particle physics — he has a deep love for and fascination with mathematics that shines through in his many books and productions. One of his first was the fascinating documentary The Proof. Broadcast in the PBS Nova series, it brought to vivid life the dramatic story of Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Singh's acclaimed 1997 book on the same subject, entitled Fermat's Enigma in North America and Fermat's Last Theorem in the UK, was a number-one bestseller in Britain and has been translated into over 25 languages.

His other books include The Code Book (1999), a history of codes and codebreaking, and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets (2013), about the numerous references to mathematics hidden in the world's most successful TV show. His radio and TV programs in the United Kingdom include The Science of Secrecy (a five-part history of cryptography), Five Numbers, Another Five Numbers, and A Further Five Numbers. He has participated in numerous stage productions that involved mathematics. His school-based projects include the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, which currently runs in over 100 STEM departments in the UK, sending 1,000 undergraduates into schools each year in order to support pupils.

The National Museum of Mathematics

MoMath was launched in 2009. At the time, there was no museum of mathematics in the United States, and yet there was incredible demand for hands-on math programming. MoMath enhances public understanding and perception of mathematics through dynamic exhibits and programs that stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of mathematics. The Museum's activities lead a broad and diverse audience to understand the evolving, creative, human, and aesthetic nature of mathematics.

As Manhattan's only hands-on science center, MoMath has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Walk into the museum and you'll find an abundance of mathematical ideas incarnated in objects and exhibits that invite you to play and explore. The Museum's Math Encounters and Family Fridays presentations, as well as other programs for students and teachers, increase appreciation of mathematics by making it fun and accessible. Among MoMath's accomplishments are the creation of the popular Math Midway exhibition, which delighted over 750,000 visitors at museums throughout the United States; leading math tours in various U.S. cities; and creating the largest-ever public outdoor demonstration of the Pythagorean theorem.

Presented annually, the JPBM Communications Award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating about mathematics to non-mathematicians. The award will be presented on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle.


Find out more about AMS prizes and awards at

The Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) is a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The JPBM oversees the JPBM Communications Award and Mathematics Awareness Month programs.

Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.

The American Statistical Association is the world's largest community of statisticians, the "Big Tent for Statistics." The ASA supports excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy.

The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Formed in 1915, association members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry who are interested in the mathematical sciences.

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an international society of more than 14,000 individual, academic and corporate members from 85 countries. SIAM helps build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology to solve real-world problems through publications, conferences, and communities like chapters, sections and activity groups. Learn more at

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