Pierre Deligne

Pierre Deligne, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics, joined the Institute Faculty in 1981. Deligne’s research pursues a fundamental understanding of the basic objects of arithmetical algebraic geometry—motive, L-functions, Shimura varieties—and applies the methods of algebraic geometry to trigonometrical sums, linear differential equations and their monodromy, representations of finite groups, and quantization deformation. A Fields Medalist for solving three Weil conjectures concerning generalizations of the Riemann hypothesis to finite fields, Deligne has done much to unify algebraic geometry and algebraic number theory.

A year ago April, the editors of the Annals of Mathematics, a journal published by the Institute and Princeton University, received an email with a submission by an unknown mathematician. “Bounded Gaps Between Primes” by Yitang Zhang, an...

In January 1984, Alexander Grothendieck submitted to the French National Centre for Scientific Research his proposal “Esquisse d’un Programme.” Soon copies of this text started circulating among mathematicians. A few months later, as a first-year...

We felt like we were in uncharted territory: no mathematicians we knew had ever received grants of this magnitude before. Normally, mathematicians receive relatively small individual grants from the National Science Foundation. This sounded a bit scary . . .  We turned to the Institute for Advanced Study as the place to foster innovation. As they say, the rest is history.

Freedom is a powerful incentive to do the best we can. As I can attest from examples in my own work, it sometimes leads to dead ends, but that is a small price to pay.

From the data, you have this remnant of a real object that you want to resurrect. Before you can start to do that, the first thing you need to know is, is it really coming from such and such an object? Are there some good tests or signatures for that?

Modular arithmetic has been a major concern of mathematicians for at least 250 years, and is still a very active topic of current research. In this article, I will explain what modular arithmetic is, illustrate why it is of importance for...

The fundamental lemma has been described as a gross understatement. Says Andrew Wiles, a Visitor in the School of Mathematics and an Institute Trustee, “At first, it was thought to be a minor irritant, but it subsequently became clear that it was not a lemma but rather a central problem in the field.”

Pierre first started visiting Moscow in the 1970s, deep in the USSR era; at the time, such visits from a foreign mathematician, while not expressly forbidden, were quite non-trivial to arrange, and all the more valuable for that. He has continued...

In addition to receiving the 2008 Wolf Prize in Mathematics, Pierre Deligne, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics, has been honored by King Albert II of Belgium, who made him a Vicomte. The Belgian post office has also issued a postage...

On the occasion of the 1993 dedication of Simonyi Hall, Phillip Griffiths, then-Director of the Institute, spoke on “Mathematics—From Servant to Partner” in which he described how the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines had...