Colding, Seidel win 2010 AMS Veblen Prize in Geometry

Mathematics professors Tobias H. Colding and Paul Seidel have been named recipients of the 2010 AMS Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry, which is given every three years for an outstanding publication in geometry or topology that has appeared in the preceding six years. 

Colding is sharing the prize with his co-author, William L. Minicozzi II of Johns Hopkins University. The two are honored "for their profound work on minimal surfaces." Seidel is sharing the Veblen Prize, for work separate from that of Colding and Minicozzi.

The $5,000 prize was awarded on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco.

In a series of papers, Colding and Minicozzi developed a new structure theory for embedded minimal surfaces that has led to the resolution of longstanding conjectures and initiated a wave of new results. In particular, they proved the embedded version of the Calabi-Yau conjectures.

Colding, who was born in Copenhagen, received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a visiting professor at MIT since 2005.

“I am greatly honored to be named along with Bill and Paul as a recipient of the 2010 Veblen prize,” said Colding. “I am particularly indebted to Bill who has been an absolute delight to work with on a number of different topics.”

Seidel was honored for his fundamental contributions to symplectic geometry, in particular, his development of advanced algebraic methods for computation of symplectic invariants, according to the award citation. His work has also greatly influenced developments in nearby subjects such as gauge theory and low-dimensional topology.

Seidel, born in Florence, Italy, earned his PhD at Oxford and was on the faculty at Imperial College London and the University of Chicago before coming to MIT in 2007.

“It’s an honor to be selected as one of the recipients of the Veblen Prize,” said Seidel. “I’d like to interpret this more broadly as a sign of appreciation for the part of mathematics that I’ve been working in, which is the study of symplectic topology using cohomological methods.”

More information on the award can be found at Additional information on the AMS prizes is available at

Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Mathematics

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