Arthur Winfree

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Arthur Winfree
Arthur Winfree in 1983
Born(1942-05-15)May 15, 1942
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
DiedNovember 5, 2002(2002-11-05) (aged 60)
AwardsNorbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical Biology
InstitutionsUniversity of Arizona

Arthur Taylor Winfree (May 15, 1942 – November 5, 2002) was a theoretical biologist at the University of Arizona.[1] He was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States.[2]

Winfree was noted for his work on the mathematical modeling of biological phenomena (see Complexity and Singularity (system theory)): from cardiac arrhythmia and circadian rhythms to the self-organization of slime mold colonies and the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction. Winfree was a MacArthur Fellow from 1984 to 1989, he won the Einthoven Prize for his work on ventricular fibrillation, and shared the 2000 Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics[3] with Alexandre Chorin.

He was the father of Erik Winfree, another MacArthur Fellow and currently a professor at the California Institute of Technology, and Rachael Winfree, currently a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers University.

The Arthur T. Winfree Prize was established by the Society for Mathematical Biology in his honor.[4]


Professorial history[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Year Award
1961 Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalist
1982 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
1984 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Prize
1989 The Einthoven Award (Netherlands Royal Academy of Science, InterUniversity Cardiology Institute, and Einthoven Foundation)
2000 AMS-SIAM Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics, "in recognition of his profound impact on the field of biological rhythms, otherwise known as coupled nonlinear oscillators"[5] (shared with A. Chorin)
2001 Aisenstadt Chair Lecturer (Centre de Recherche Mathématiques, Université de Montréal)


  • Arthur T. Winfree (2001). The Geometry of Biological Time. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-98992-7. (Second edition, first edition published 1980).[6]
  • Arthur T. Winfree (1987). When Time Breaks Down: The Three-Dimensional Dynamics of Electrochemical Waves and Cardiac Arrhythmias. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02402-2.
  • Arthur T. Winfree (1987). Timing of Biological Clocks. Scientific American Library, No 19. ISBN 0-7167-5018-X.
  • Editorial (2004). Arthur T. Winfree (1942–2002). Journal of Theoretical Biology, No 230. pp. 433–439.


  1. ^ Johnson, George (November 22, 2002). "Dr. Art Winfree, 60, Dies; Plumbed the Rhythms of Life". New York Times.
  2. ^ "Arthur Winfree obituary". SIAM News.
  3. ^ Strogatz, Steven (June 2003). "Obituary: Arthur Taylor Winfree". Physics Today. 56 (6): 74–75. doi:10.1063/1.4776726.
  4. ^ "Arthur Winfree Prize". Society for Mathematical Biology. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  5. ^ "2000 AMS–SIAM Wiener Prize" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 47 (4): 483–484. 2000. ISSN 0002-9920. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  6. ^ Cohen, Joel E. (1982). "Review: The geometry of biological time, by Arthur T. Winfree" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 7 (1): 280–283. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1982-15036-4.