More math news

In more parochial math news, my alma mater has hired Sophie Morel. This means that after 374 years we finally have a woman as a full professor. I don’t believe in congratulating a school for doing something that’s at least 75 years overdue (I hear that Emmy Noether was on the market in 1933), but as an alum I’m certainly relieved that this is no longer a continued source of embarrassment. This is just the first step, and I look forward to the day when Harvard has at least two women on faculty, like both of the other institutions I’ve been affiliated with.

Speaking of Prof. Morel, her advisor Gerard Laumon has quite the string of superstar students. Anyone know what the current record is for who has the most students with Fields medals?

27 thoughts on “More math news

  1. I think the record is two, held by Zariski (Hironaka and Mumford), Bott (Smale and Quillen) and Stein (Fefferman and Tao). Maybe Laumon will soon join the club?

    ed. This comment was stuck in moderation which explains why later comments have the same info

  2. also it’s interesting to note that Fields Medalists’s students never won Fields Medal (correct me if I’m wrong), but there are quite several (at least 3, like Henri Cartan & Serre, Chern & Yau, Zariski&Mumford) examples of Wolf advisor and Wolf student….

  3. It’s entirely possible that advising well and doing good work later in one’s career are correlated somehow.

    In those examples though, H. Cartan and Zariski were only eligible for one cycle of Fields and Chern for two, so it’s not so surprising they missed out.

  4. >>>Deligne was a student of Grothendieck.

    Well it depends of the meaning of “student”.
    If it’s doing a PhD with Grothendieck then it’s false.
    If it’s study under Grothendieck then it’s true.

  5. I think you should add Manin as he advised Drinfeld and effectively advised Kontsevich (with Zagier).

  6. it’s interesting to note that Fields Medalists’s students never won Fields Medal (correct me if I’m wrong)

    You are wrong:

    Laurent Schwartz (Fields medal 1950) was the advisor of Alexandre Grothendieck (Fields medal 1966) who was the advisor of Pierre Deligne (Fields medal 1978).

  7. When I was a graduate student at Harvard in the early 80’s, they tried to hire Karen Uhlenbeck. She spent a year visiting and then turned down the offer.

  8. Is it in poor taste to point out that the spelling “alma matter” is not what you intended? Who knows, maybe physics already used the term “alma matter” for something.

  9. You look forward to the day when there are only two? Wow, yeah. Meanwhile, I’ll just get back to starving to death, like so many other unemployed STEM women that I know …

  10. @Kea. The point I was trying to make was that one should hope for and expect further progress rather than being self-congratulatory about single exceptions. Hence I wrote “at least” rather than “only.” Also, I’d just read rjlipton’s post on the “rule of two” and it seemed relevant so I wanted to work in a link to it. I’m not sure what your misreading it as “only” is meant to add.

    Of course no matter who Harvard hires it’s not substantially going to affect whether you, John, I, or anyone else gets jobs or ends up unemployed. It’s a small department and one that doesn’t consider hiring people who don’t already have jobs elsewhere.

    @John. I don’t think that’s a productive comment and I seriously considered deleting it.

  11. Sorry, Noah, I shouldn’t have responded to snark with snark.

    Yes, the employment situation for female academics in STEM fields is a problem. But it sucks all around, not just for the women. Why are we quibbling over how many of the few existing positions go to whom, and not over expanding the pool overall?

  12. Why are we quibbling over how many of the few existing positions go to whom, and not over expanding the pool overall?

    Um, because mathematicians have a lot of influence over who gets existing positions, and much less over whether to expand the pool overall.

  13. There is some mixing of global political considerations with discussion of individual hires. Sophie Morel seems clearly a good hire (regardless of gender politics), and I think Kea and John would also be great hires (having some limited familiarity with the work of both), and I’m surprised to hear you’re still unemployed. I hope you both get good jobs soon.

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