Michael Hopkins awarded Veblen Prize from American Mathematical Society

Mike Hopkins.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photo

2 min read

Harvard professor Michael Hopkins was awarded the 2022 Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry from the American Mathematical Society.

The American Mathematical Society has been a professional society since 1888 and worked towards advancing research and connecting the global mathematical community. The award recognizes scientists who have published notable research in geometry or topology in the last six years.

Hopkins, the George Putnam Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics and department chair of the Harvard Department of Mathematics, shares the award with Michael Hill from the University of California, Los Angeles and Douglas Ravenel from the University of Rochester. They won the honor for their work their paper “On the nonexistence of elements of Kervaire invariant one.” The paper solved a 50-year-old problem in geometric topology and introduced influential new ideas and techniques in algebraic topology.

Hopkins received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He is a fellow of the AMS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Hopkins previously received the Oswald Veblen prize in 2001, the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics in 2012, and the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics in 2014.

“I am delighted and honored to share this prize with my close friends and longtime collaborators,” Hopkins said in a statement to the AMS. “The Kervaire invariant problem hung around as the ‘problem’ for most of my mathematical life. I never would have dared to take it on directly, and in many ways the resolution was a serendipitous byproduct of other work that Doug, Mike, and I were doing.”

The Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry is awarded every three years. Hill, Hopkins, and Ravenel will be recognized for their achievement on Wednesday, Jan. 5 during the Joint Prize Session at the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle.