Your Majesties the emperor and empress, your Excellencies, honored guests, fellow laureates: It is a great honor to receive this prize from the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan. I thank all who participated in this award process.
My research career has been highly collaborative. I could never have received the Japan Prize had it not been for the ideas and efforts of my collaborators and I also accept this Prize on their behalves. I have written no papers by myself since 1970. Combining my ideas with those of others has yielded an output far more valuable, far more creative than had I worked alone.
Below are just those people with whom I have more than ten publications. Unfortunately this criterion omits some like Herb Hethcote; together in 1978 we launched the mathematical theory of the transmission dynamics and control of sexually transmitted diseases.
13 publications with Andrzej Lasota beginning in 1971
15 with James Kaplan 1974
17 with Tien-Yien Li 1975
14 with James Alexander 1976
11 with John Mallet-Paret 1978
16 with Kathleen Alligood 1981
83 with Edward Ott 1982
81 with Celso Grebogi 1982
16 with Brian Hunt 1984
24 with Tim Sauer 1987
21 with Helena Nusse 1987
18 with Eric Kostelich 1987
13 with Judy Kennedy 1991
The Japan Prize has for me has a special meaning for me. I hope and expect it will enable me to do more research in new areas by giving those in the new field added confidence in my work. I have worked in several seemingly unrelated fields that might be included under the term complexity: chaotic dynamics, epidemiology, meteorology, genomics, and computer network security. I will jump into other fields in the future. Beginning research in a new field means entering an arena whose researchers may be unaware of our past achievements.
New ideas are often “half-baked” and require time and resources to mature. A grant proposal for work in a new field is often incomplete and lacks the established sound, the jargon and phraseology of the field. If any of the referees lack confidence in the work, it is unlikely a grant will be awarded, and it is the job of referees to be skeptical.
I hope and expect this award of the Japan Prize will open doors for my future research projects in new areas!