22 January 2024

AAS Member Honored by National Academy of Sciences

Susanna Kohler

Susanna Kohler American Astronomical Society (AAS)

This post is adapted from a page on the National Academy of Sciences website:

On 22 January 2024 the National Academy of Sciences announced the recipients of its latest awards in recognition of extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields. Among the honorees is one AAS member:

James Stone Prize Banner


James Stone (Institute for Advanced Study) will receive the 2024 James Craig Watson Medal for transforming the field of computational astrophysics and ushering in a new era of precision simulations with a wide range of applications. The medal is presented with a $25,000 prize and $50,000 to support the recipient’s research.

Stone's research is focused on fluid dynamics, particularly magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), for which he has developed some of the most powerful and widely used astrophysical codes.

His innovative methods address some of the field's most challenging problems, resulting in foundational insights into the nature of giant molecular clouds, the evolution of accretion disks, the process of planetary migration, and the phenomena of radiation transport. He was the primary developer of the ZEUS code, one of the first publicly available astrophysical MHD codes, and has led the development of the Athena and Athena++ adaptive mesh refinement frameworks for astrophysical MHD.

Stone is a leader in the public dissemination of research software and is also interested in issues related to software development for modern high-performance computing systems, and the support of research computing in academia.

Award citation: For his contributions to our understanding of accretion disks and interstellar turbulence; and especially for his development of numerical methods for radiation magnetohydrodynamics and for the development of open-source codes that have transformed computational astrophysics across many fields.

Congratulations to James Stone!

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