Robert Lazarsfeld of Stony Brook University will be awarded the 2015 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January in San Antonio, Texas. He is honored for his two-volume work "Positivity in Algebraic Geometry I and II" (Springer, 2004). The prize citation notes that these books were "instant classics" that have profoundly influenced and shaped research in algebraic geometry over the past decade.
Algebraic geometry, a major branch of modern mathematics with connections to many other areas of mathematics and also to physics, investigates the geometric properties of solutions to polynomial equations.
The prize-winning books of Lazarsfeld are now used for courses and seminars all over the world. "They can be used both as textbooks and as sources for current research problems, and so have great value for both students and experts in the field," the prize citation says. "They are exceptionally well written, with numerous examples, new proofs, and especially new results reflecting Lazarsfeld's great taste and originality."
Lazarsfeld is known as one of the top world experts in algebraic geometry. After receiving his doctorate at Brown University in 1980, he held positions at UCLA and at the University of Michigan, where he was the Raymond Wilder Collegiate Professor (Wilder was President of the AMS in 1955-56). In 2013, Lazarsfeld moved to Stony Brook University. In addition to his outstanding scholarship, he has guided over 20 PhD students, many of whom have gone on to stellar careers in their own right. Lazarsfeld has served as editor for some of the top mathematics journals, including serving as an editor and then as managing editor of the Journal of the AMS. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the AMS.
Presented annually, the AMS Steele Prize is one of the highest distinctions in mathematics. The prize will be awarded at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 4:25 PM, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
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Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the nearly 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.