Person: Witten, Edward
Edward Witten is an American mathematician who won a Fields Medal for his work on quantum field theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Witten studied at Brandeis University and received his B.A. in 1971.
- After completing his doctorate, Witten went to Harvard where he was postdoctoral fellow during session 1976-77 and then a Junior Fellow from 1977 to 1980.
- In September 1980 Witten was appointed professor of Physics at Princeton.
- Basically Witten is a mathematical physicist and he has a wealth of important publications which are properly in physics.
- In his study of these areas of theoretical physics, Witten has achieved a level of mathematics which has led him to be awarded the highest honour that a mathematician can receive, namely a Fields Medal.
- The Proceedings of the Congress contains two articles describing Witten's mathematical work which led to the award.
- The first major contribution which led to Witten's Fields Medal was his simpler proof of the positive mass conjecture which had led to a Fields Medal for Yau in 1982.
- This became the centrepiece of many of Witten's subsequent works...
- Witten explains that "supersymmetric quantum mechanics" is just Hodge-de Rham theory.
- It is a measure of Witten's mastery of the field that he has been able to make intelligent and skilful use of this difficult point of view in much of his subsequent work.
- Another piece of new mathematics stemmed from Witten's papers on global gravitational anomalies.
- In recent years, Witten focused his attention on topological quantum field theories.
- Witten described these in terms of the invariants of Donaldson and Floer (extending the earlier ideas of Atiyah) and generalised the Jones knot polynomial ...
- This is the case with Witten's work.
- Witten has received an amazingly long list of awards, in addition to the Fields Medal, which shows the exceptionally high regard in which his contributions are held.
Born 26 August 1951, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Prize Clay Research Award, Prize Fields Medal, Origin Usa
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive