2014 Frederic Esser Nemmers Mathematics Prize Recipient

Michael Hopkins

2014 Nemmers Prize in Mathematics Recipient

Michael Hopkins

Harvard University

For his fundamental contributions to algebraic topology, stable homotopy theory and derived algebraic geometry.

Official press release

Michael J. Hopkins, one of the world’s pre-eminent algebraic topologists and a professor of mathematics at Harvard University, is the recipient of the 2014 Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics. His work has revolutionized the field of algebraic topology, a field of mathematics which studies topological or geometric structures using the methods of algebra. He has pioneered the application of homotopy theory to a range of areas in mathematics, collaborating with geometers, number theorists and mathematical physicists.

Working with Michael Hill and Douglas Ravenel, Hopkins recently solved the long-standing Kervaire invariant problem. While this question first arose in the 1940s, it has a long history at Northwestern, particularly in the work of Mark Mahowald.

Hopkins is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics (2012) and the American Mathematical Society’s Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (2001). Before joining Harvard’s faculty in 2005, Hopkins held professorships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.  He received a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Northwestern, both in mathematics. He was also a Rhodes Scholar and earned his D.Phil. (doctor of philosophy) in mathematics from the University of Oxford.

Recent past winners of the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics include: Ingrid Daubechies (2012) Terence Tao (2010); Simon Donaldson (2008); and Robert P. Langlands (2006). For additional information on all the winners and the Nemmers Prizes, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/provost/awards/nemmers/nemprmath.html.