Thomas Y. Hou: An Accomplished Mathematician – Thomas Y. Hou is a highly esteemed mathematician known for his contributions to numerical analysis and mathematical analysis. With a distinguished career spanning several decades, Hou has made significant advancements in the field of applied and computational mathematics. This article explores his academic biography, research endeavors, and the numerous awards and honors he has received.
Academic Biography
Thomas Yizhao Hou was born in 1962 and is an American mathematician. He pursued his undergraduate studies at the South China University of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1982. Hou’s passion for mathematics led him to pursue further education, and he completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1987 under the guidance of Björn Engquist. His doctoral dissertation focused on the convergence of particle methods for Euler and Boltzmann equations with oscillatory solutions.
Following the completion of his Ph.D., Hou began his teaching career at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he served from 1989 to 1993. In 1993, he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and has been a prominent member ever since. In recognition of his contributions, Hou was appointed as the Charles Lee Powell Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics in 2004.
Research Contributions
Hou’s research has spanned various areas of applied mathematics, with a particular focus on numerical analysis and mathematical analysis. One of his notable areas of expertise is multiscale analysis and singularity formation of the threedimensional incompressible Euler and NavierStokes equations. Hou and his former postdoc, XiaoHui Wu, developed the multiscale finite element method, which has been widely adopted in the engineering community. This method has found numerous applications, particularly in the field of flow simulation in major oil companies.
In 2014, Hou and Guo Luo presented compelling numerical evidence showing that the axisymmetric Euler equations develop finitetime singularities from smooth initial data. This breakthrough has significant implications for the understanding of fluid dynamics. Additionally, Hou’s research on the potentially singular behavior of the threedimensional NavierStokes equations has generated considerable interest within the scientific community.
Hou has also made substantial contributions to computational fluid dynamics. His work on the convergence of the point vortex method for incompressible Euler equations was considered groundbreaking. Additionally, his development of the level set method for multiphase flows and the SmallScale Decomposition method for fluid interface problems has had a significant impact on computational fluid dynamics, materials science, and biology.
Awards and Honors
Throughout his career, Thomas Y. Hou has received numerous prestigious awards and honors in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the field of mathematics. In 1990, he was selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. Seven years later, Hou was awarded the Feng Kang Prize in Scientific Computing. The American Physical Society honored him with the Francois Frenkiel Award in 1998.
Hou’s contributions to numerical analysis and scientific computing were acknowledged by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), which awarded him the James H. Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing in 2001. In 2005, the United States Association of Computational Mechanics (USACM) recognized his work with the Computational and Applied Sciences Award. More recently, in 2018, SIAM awarded him the Outstanding Paper Prize, and in 2023, he received the Ralph E. Kleinman Prize.
Hou’s induction into prestigious scholarly societies further demonstrates his impact on the field of mathematics. He was elected as a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2009. In 2011, he became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2012, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
CITATIONS
TITLE 
CITED BY

YEAR 

A multiscale finite element method for elliptic problems in composite materials and porous media
TY Hou, XH Wu
Journal of computational physics 134 (1), 169189

2275  1997 
A level set formulation of Eulerian interface capturing methods for incompressible fluid flows
YC Chang, TY Hou, B Merriman, S Osher
Journal of computational Physics 124 (2), 449464

1201  1996 
Multiscale finite element methods: theory and applications
Y Efendiev, TY Hou
Springer Science & Business Media

1093  2009 
Convergence of a multiscale finite element method for elliptic problems with rapidly oscillating coefficients
T Hou, XH Wu, Z Cai
Mathematics of computation 68 (227), 913943

772  1999 
Removing the stiffness from interfacial flows with surface tension
TY Hou, JS Lowengrub, MJ Shelley
Journal of Computational Physics 114 (2), 312338

695  1994 
A mixed multiscale finite element method for elliptic problems with oscillating coefficients
Z Chen, T Hou
Mathematics of Computation 72 (242), 541576

639  2003 
Generalized multiscale finite element methods (GMsFEM)
Y Efendiev, J Galvis, TY Hou
Journal of computational physics 251, 116135

630  2013 
Global wellposedness of the viscous Boussinesq equations
TY Hou, C Li
Discrete Contin. Dyn. Syst 12 (1), 112

437  2005 
Why nonconservative schemes converge to wrong solutions: error analysis
TY Hou, PG LeFloch
Mathematics of computation 62 (206), 497530

431  1994 
Convergence of a nonconforming multiscale finite element method
YR Efendiev, TY Hou, XH Wu
SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis 37 (3), 888910

395  2000 
Analysis of upscaling absolute permeability
XH Wu, Y Efendiev, TY Hou
Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems Series B 2 (2), 185204

338  2002 
A hybrid method for moving interface problems with application to the Hele–Shaw flow
TY Hou, Z Li, S Osher, H Zhao
Journal of Computational Physics 134 (2), 236252

336  1997 
Boundary integral methods for multicomponent fluids and multiphase materials
TY Hou, JS Lowengrub, MJ Shelley
Journal of Computational Physics 169 (2), 302362

285  2001 
Accurate multiscale finite element methods for twophase flow simulations
Y Efendiev, V Ginting, T Hou, R Ewing
Journal of Computational Physics 220 (1), 155174

283  2006 
Wiener chaos expansions and numerical solutions of randomly forced equations of fluid mechanics
TY Hou, W Luo, B Rozovskii, HM Zhou
Journal of computational physics 216 (2), 687706

264  2006 
Multiscale finite element methods for nonlinear problems and their applications
Y Efendiev, TY Hou, V Ginting
Communications in Mathematical Sciences 2 (4), 553589

264  2004 
Computing nearly singular solutions using pseudospectral methods
TY Hou, R Li
Journal of Computational Physics 226 (1), 379397

250  2007 
Preconditioning Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations using coarsescale models
Y Efendiev, T Hou, W Luo
SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing 28 (2), 776803

226  2006 
A new multiscale finite element method for highcontrast elliptic interface problems
CC Chu, I Graham, TY Hou
Mathematics of Computation 79 (272), 19151955

224  2010 
An efficient dynamically adaptive mesh for potentially singular solutions
HD Ceniceros, TY Hou
Journal of Computational Physics 172 (2), 609639

223  2001 
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Conclusion
Thomas Y. Hou’s contributions to numerical analysis and mathematical analysis have significantly advanced the field of applied mathematics. His work in multiscale analysis, singularity formation, and computational fluid dynamics has had a profound impact on various disciplines. Through his exceptional research and numerous accolades, Hou has solidified his position as a leading mathematician. As he continues to push the boundaries of mathematical understanding, his work will undoubtedly shape the future of the field.