Singer to give Killian lecture March 23


Institute Professor Isadore Singer, winner of the 2005-2006 James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, will deliver the Killian Award lecture on Thursday, March 23.

Singer will speak on "Some Geometry of the Past Half Century and Its Historical Background" at 4:30 p.m. in the Stata Center's Kirsch Auditorium. (Download PDF abstract)

Singer, a world-renowned mathematician who joined the MIT faculty after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1950, has made significant contributions in a wide range of mathematical fields, including geometry, analysis and algebra.

In his talk, Singer will describe "the exciting evolution of the past 50 years in our understanding of geometry," starting with his own experience at MIT in the early 1950s. His talk will explain the Gauss-Bonnet formula and will also focus on collaboration between physicists and mathematicians, which has flourished in the past 30 years because "physicists need sophisticated mathematical techniques to address problems in string theory and because insights coming from physics have profoundly impacted mathematics."

In 2004, Singer was awarded the Abel Prize for a series of papers he co-authored with Michael Atiyah. The papers also earned the Bocher Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 1969, and in 2000, the society honored Singer with the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Singer won the National Medal of Science, this nation's highest science honor, in 1983.

The Killian Award was established in 1971 to recognize extraordinary professional accomplishments by full-time members of the MIT faculty. A faculty committee chooses the recipient from candidates nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to their fields, to MIT and to society.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 22, 2006 (download PDF).


Topics: Mathematics, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Special events and guest speakers

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