Bellman Prize

The Bellman Prize is awarded every two years for the best paper published in Mathematical Biosciences over the preceding two years. The Prize includes a check for $1250 and an announcement in Mathematical Biosciences, with a summary of the research and information about the authors.

Mathematical biosciences

About the award

The Bellman Prize was established in 1985 in honor and memory of Dr. Richard Bellman, a true pioneer in biomathematics and the founder of the journal Mathematical Biosciences. An independent selection committee chosen by the editor and associate editors awards this prize.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Richard Bellman (1920–1984) developed the method of dynamic programming, which subdivides the task of optimizing a complex problem dynamically into solutions of smaller sub-problems that are easier to manage. At the time, dynamic programming offered an efficiency never seen before, and by now it has become a standard technique in applied mathematics and computer science. Bellman also coined the term curse of dimensionality, which continues to be a particular challenge for the mathematical analysis of many biological systems. Later, Bellman devoted his talents to mathematical analyses in biology and medicine and founded the journal Mathematical Biosciences. In his honor, the Bellman Prize was established shortly after Richard Bellman's death.


Visit the journal home page to discover the latest winners

Nomination process

The Editor-in-Chief receives a list of the top cited articles (in year X) published in year X-3 and X-2. The Editor-in-Chief then selects a Bellman Prize committee of six or seven people, representing diverse interests, nationalities, and many other criteria. They receive the following instructions:

The author(s) to be selected must have published a Mathematical Biosciences paper in X-3 or X-2. Papers (co-)authored by members of the editorial board are ineligible. If an author has received the Bellman award before, s/he is eligible again.

The process of nomination is internal and not advertised; an author cannot apply for the prize.