József Balogh among researchers recognized for developing hypergraph container methods

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) recently announced the winners of the 2024 Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research. Five people were awarded the prestigious prize; among them was University of Illinois professor József Balogh. Balogh, along with his co-authors Robert Morris (Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada), and Wojciech Samotij (Tel Aviv University) received the award for their 2015 paper “Independent sets in hypergraphs,” published in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.

The announcement from AMS drew special attention to the method of hypergraph containers introduced by the winning papers. “Their method has had an immediate and dramatic impact on the study of enumerative and extremal problems in random settings, and has provided a powerful new tool for constructing counterintuitive combinatorial objects,” reads the announcement.

Balogh, who was named an AMS fellow earlier this year, currently leads two NSF-funded projects at UIUC—one establishing a research training group in combinatorics and the other focused on collaborative research in extremal combinatorics and flag algebras.

In a joint statement, the five winners acknowledged decades of work that led to the results of their research: “The container method is an achievement of the entire combinatorics community, and we would like to dedicate this prize to all of the mathematicians who contributed to its development over the years.”

The recipients of the Steele Prize will be recognized in a special presentation during the 2024 Joint Math Meetings in San Francisco.

To learn more about the Steele Prize and this year’s recipients, see the AMS announcement.