Announcing the PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture Series

  • Date: 10/12/2011

Photo: Alison Marsden

Jerrold E Marsden (1942-2010) was a world-renowned Canadian applied mathematician. At the time of his death he was the Carl F Braun Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems at Caltech, and prior to that he was at the University of California (Berkeley) for many years. He did extensive research in the area of geometric mechanics, dynamical systems and control theory. He was one of the original founders in the early 1970's of reduction theory for mechanical systems with symmetry, which remains an active and much studied area of research today.

Marsden had strong Canadian ties which he maintained throughout his life. He was born in Ocean Falls, B.C. and his family later moved to Vancouver where he attended secondary school. He did his university work at the University of Toronto. He was the Founding Director of the Fields Institute, and was inducted into the Canadian Royal Society in 1993. He gave the Aisenstadt Lectures in Montreal, 1989-90, and won the Jeffrey-Williams Prize of the Canadian Mathematical Society in 1982. For his pioneering work, Marsden won several other major international prizes; for further information, see

Given Marsden's seminal academic contributions and close ties to Canada in general and British Columbia in particular, it seems appropriate for PIMS to remember him with a named lecture series, the PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture. This Lecture will be given annually in a venue of special significance to him or his work and/or at selected meetings in geometric mechanics. The Lecture will return to Canada at least every third year, following up on the inaugural Lecture given in July 2011 by Alan Weinstein at ICIAM in Vancouver. The organizing committee consists of:

Mark J Gotay, PIMS (Vancouver)
Alan Weinstein, University of California (Berkeley)
Tudor Ratiu, Bernoulli Institute (Lausanne)
Anthony Bloch, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Darryl D Holm, Imperial College (London)
James Isenberg, University of Oregon (Eugene)

This series will be administered and funded by PIMS.