Writing a Letter of Nomination

Please note that letters of nomination should be no longer than 2 pages.

You are writing to the Fellows Selection Committee (FSC); do not assume they are experts in the candidate’s field. The letter should explain to the selection committee why a candidate merits becoming a SIAM Fellow. Carefully describe the candidate's accomplishments.

In under two pages, describe the technical and professional accomplishments that place your candidate in the top 3% of SIAM members. Since the data contained in the nomination package is the FSC's key source of information on the candidate, it is essential that the qualifications be described thoroughly, concisely and objectively, explaining the significance of the candidate's accomplishments within the discipline and for the community we serve.

  1. Describe what the candidate accomplished. Consider questions raised in the guidelines and remember that the CV will have comprehensive lists. The goal of the letter of nomination is to provide the committee some understanding of the significance of the candidate’s accomplishments. Achievements related to applied mathematics and/or computational science may be theoretical or practical, involving innovative mathematical results or applications which advance the state of the art. While it may be more difficult to document team or company efforts and the contributions of practitioners because of commercial or governmental restraints on publication, the nominator is obliged to try to induce the nominee's organization to release sufficient information to document these contributions. The nominator should specify the subfield within the discipline in which the contribution was made. Indicate originality and creative aspects of the work and/or how the candidate's technical leadership resulted in new concepts, software, or other innovations.
  2. Outstanding service to SIAM and the community it serves includes projects, innovative programs, and leadership roles taken to advance the discipline through SIAM and other society activities. Include SIAM awards and other demonstrated contributions such as educational programs and courses, curriculum development and innovation, textbook publication and acceptance, administrative and teaching excellence which have had a major impact on the professional development of individuals in the field. Specify the nature, duration, and significance of major efforts.

For both categories above, list the concrete evidence which is in the public domain and to which the FSC may have access. The evidence may include internal reports, if available, or a description of achievements which can be verified by endorsers and/or the Fellows Selection Committee. It is recommended that no more than ten items of evidence be listed and that the significance of these items be explained. Long recitations of papers are not useful. Examples of evidence and the preferred order and method for listing are given below.


  1. Advancement of applied mathematics or computational science.
    1. Technical Publications, e.g., books authored or edited; refereed papers in archival journals; papers in conference proceedings; technical reports; published standards (with candidate’s role specified); other publications.
    2. Technical Presentations, e.g., major invited presentations at conferences or internal company meetings; invited talks at ICIAM or ICM or similar congress.
    3. Technical and Professional Awards, e.g., honors and awards from SIAM and other technical societies, government agencies, etc., for technical achievement in information technology or related disciplines.
      Other Documentation, e.g., patents (state title, date, country of issue, co-inventors, and significance); major internal reports; products and/or systems and their acceptance.

  2. Outstanding Service to SIAM and the community it serves

    List major SIAM and other technical society offices held and dates, including committee/board memberships, SIAG and Section activities, special assignments (editor, conference organizer, etc.). List service awards, membership in honor societies, Fellow or comparable grades held in technical societies of companies, educational, government and international awards. Briefly describe the nature of the award. Include published curricula, textbooks, educational awards, and recognition of service.

Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Please note that letters of recommendation should be no longer than 2 pages.

Letters of support are intended to be personal endorsements from an individual knowledgeable of the candidates work and contributions. Letters of support are limited to two in number and these are in addition to the letter of nomination. The two letters of support may come from any individual knowledgeable about the candidate. They should come from one person and not be a collection of signatures or endorsements from a group.

Letters of support should be brief and succinct (a few hundred words spanning no more than two pages). Indicate how you know the candidate. Describe the candidate’s contributions and why they make the individual a candidate for fellowship. This should be written from your perspective. Document where possible.

Be sure to include key scientific accomplishments in the discipline; also consider other types of contributions as described earlier in this document.

For more information
Frequently Asked Questions about Nomination Procedures
SIAM Fellows Program Specifications [PDF, 90KB]
Contact the Fellows Team at [email protected] 
Contact Executive Director Jim Crowley at [email protected]

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