Ed Saff

E. B. Saff Brief Bio

Ed SaffEdward B. Saff holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University.

He received his B.S. in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, where he was a student of the renowned analyst Joseph L. Walsh.

Saff spent a postdoctoral year as a Fulbright fellow at Imperial College in London, England before joining the faculty at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, where he rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Distinguished Research Professor. During his tenure at USF, he founded and directed the Institute for Constructive Mathematics (1985-2001); served as Associate Director, Florida Regional Center for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, Computers and Technology (1983-1990); and was a member of the Florida House of Representatives Special Task Force on Science, Mathematics and Computer Science (1982-1983). He joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2001 as Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Center for Constructive Approximation. During the period 2004-2007, he served as Executive Dean of Vanderbilt’s College of Arts & Science, and in 2023, named Distinguished Professor of Mathematics.

Saff’s research areas include approximation theory, numerical analysis, and potential theory. He has published more than 290 mathematical research articles, co-authored 9 books, and co-edited 11 volumes. Recognitions of his professional accomplishments  include his receipt of an Honorary Doctorate from Taras Schevchenko National University, Kyiv, Ukraine in 2024, his election as a SIAM Fellow (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) in 2023, as a Foreign Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 2013, and as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2013. In addition, he received Vanderbilt University’s Chancellor’s Research Award (2005) and is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher (since 2007), was an American Math Society Regional Conference Main Speaker (2001); a Pichorides Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Crete in Heraklion (2017), and an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand (1999). He was named an Honorary Professor of Mathematics at Zhejiang Normal University, China (1987), received the Sigma Xi Outstanding Researcher Award, Univ. of South Fla. (1984), the Distinguished Scholar Award, Univ. of South Fla. (1982), and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1978, which he spent at Oxford University.

Saff is co-Editor-in-chief and Managing Editor of the research journal Constructive Approximation and has served on the editorial boards of Computational Methods and Function Theory and the Journal of Approximation Theory. He has mentored 18 Ph.D.’s as well as 13 post-docs. Saff has been particularly active on the international scene, having served as an advisor and NATO collaborator to a French research team at INRIA Sophia-Antipolis; a co-director of an Australian Research Council Discovery Award; an annual visiting research collaborator at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia; and as an organizer of a sequence of international CMFT (Computational Methods and Function Theory) research conferences that included outreach to mathematicians from developing countries.

He and his wife Loretta, who live in Nashville, have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren.