Sandro Salsa

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"He was full professor of Mathematical Analysis and member of the Mathematics Department at the Politecnico di Milano, serving as director from 1999 to 2008. During his years as director, the department underwent positive changes that improved its role and visibility in the university and, more generally, in the area of research of pure and applied mathematics. These changes were strongly influenced by the vision of Sandro Salsa, who promoted the established two new institutions coordinated by the Department and today consolidated and highly valued: the programme in Mathematical Engineering and the MOX laboratory for scientific calculation and mathematical modelling. 

Sandro Salsa has carried out vast and varied scientific research in the field of Mathematical Analysis, making essential theoretical contributions in the study of non-linear, degenerate or singular elliptic or parabolic Partial Differential Equations, with particular focus on free boundary problems. These numerous results, often obtained in collaboration with world-renowned scholars, are published in the most prestigious mathematical journals, including Acta Mathematica, Annals of Mathematics, Communications of Pure and Applied Mathematics and Inventiones Mathematicae. The monograph on free boundary problems, written together with Luis Caffarelli and published in 2005 under the aegis of the American Mathematical Society, is one of the most important contributions on the subject published in the last quarter of a century. To celebrate a scientific career of such a great impact, in 2021 the journal Mathematics in Engineering dedicated a special issue to Sandro Salsa, with contributions from internationally renowned mathematicians and scholars.

Sandro Salsa's lively curiosity has always nourished his interest in the applications of mathematics in the most diverse scientific fields and primarily in Engineering and Finance. It is no surprise, therefore, that Sandro Salsa was the founding father of the programme in Mathematical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, which, from the point of view of university education, realizes his unified vision of the role of mathematics in science and technology, focusing strongly on scientific computing and data analysis, thus anticipating by more than a decade the explosion in the demand for data science from the industry and services. 

A great communicator, Sandro Salsa is a teacher much loved by his students and has taught generations of Engineering, Mathematics and Economics students both in person and through the manuals that he wrote and helped to write for teaching Mathematical Analysis, now considered classics with great publishing success."

[extract from the 2021 nomination statement]