Edward B. Saff received his B.S. in applied mathematics from Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, where he was a student of the distinguished analyst Joseph L. Walsh.
He 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.
Saff’s research areas include approximation theory, numerical analysis, and potential theory. He has published more than 215 mathematical research articles, co-authored 7 books, and co-edited more than 8 tomes. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1978, which he spent at Oxford University. Other recognitions of his research include the Chancellor’s Research Award, Vanderbilt University, 2005; being an ISI Highly Cited Researcher (2007); being an American Math Society Regional Conference Main Speaker (2001); an Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1999); an Honorary Professor of Mathematics, Zhejiang Normal University, China (1987); as well as being the recipient of the Sigma Xi Outstanding Researcher Award, USF (1984), and the Distinguished Scholar Award, USF (1982).
Saff is Editor-in-chief of two research journals, Constructive Approximation
(now based at VU) and Computational Methods and Function Theory
. He also serves on the editorial board of Journal of Approximation Theory
. He has mentored 14 Ph.D.’s as well as 7 post-docs. Saff is particularly active on the international scene, serving as an advisor and NATO collaborator to a French research team at INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis, an annual visiting research collaborator at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, and as an organizer of a sequence of international research conferences that helps foster the careers of mathematicians from developing countries.
He and his wife Loretta have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren and live in Green Hills.