Person: Borcherds, Richard Ewen
Richard Borcherds is a South African born mathematician known for his work in lattices, group theory and infinite-dimensional algebras, for which he was awarded the Fields Medal in 1998.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After the award of an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics, Peter Borcherds became a lecturer in physics at the University of Cape Town.
- When Richard was about a year old his parents left South Africa and went to Aldermaston in England.
- Richard attended King Edward's School in Birmingham.
- Borcherds entered Trinity College, Cambridge where he was an undergraduate.
- Borcherds had been appointed as a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1983 and held this post until 1987.
- Borcherds invented the notion of a vertex algebra and used it to solve the Conway-Norton conjecture, which concerns the representation theory of the monster group (this theory is sometimes called "monstrous moonshine").
- Borcherds's work is also important in physics, as it lays rigorous groundwork for conformal field theory in two dimensions.
- Borcherds remained as a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Cambridge until 1992, and then spent the following year as a lecturer at Cambridge.
- In 1992 Borcherds was awarded a Junior Whitehead Prize by the London Mathematical Society.
- Borcherds has made a number of important and original contributions to mathematics, with striking and surprising applications.
- Another important concept invented by Borcherds is that of a 'vertex operator algebra'.
- In a marvellous synthesis of the ideas which he has been developing, Borcherds has proved conjectures of Conway and Norton on the 'Moonshine' module for the Monster group.
- for his contributions to algebra, the theory of automorphic forms, and mathematical physics, including the introduction of vertex algebras and Borcherds' Lie Algebras, the proof of the Conway-Norton moonshine conjecture and the discovery of a new class of automorphic infinite products.
Born 29 November 1959, Cape Town, South Africa.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Prize Fields Medal, Group Theory, Origin South Africa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive