Former IAS Members Elected to the Royal Society

The Royal Society announced today more than 60 new Fellows and Foreign Members, including four former IAS scholars: Jeremy Quastel, Karen Vogtmann, Stanley Deser, and Claire Voisin. This distinguished group of scholars was selected for exceptional contributions to science. Short biographies for each from the Royal Society can be found below:

Jeremy Quastel, FRS
School of Mathematics (2013–14)

Jeremy Quastel is a Canadian mathematician working in probability, stochastic analysis and partial differential equations. His research is on the large-scale behavior of stochastic interacting particle systems and stochastic partial differential equations.

In the last decade, he has concentrated on the KPZ (Kardar-Parisi-Zhang) universality class, which includes directed polymers in a random medium, randomly driven interfaces and nonlinear fluctuating hydrodynamics of one-dimensional systems, and is related to random matrix theory.

Quastel and coworkers found the first exact solutions of the KPZ equation, and, more recently solved a popular discretization, TASEP. Through this they discovered the strong coupling fixed point of the KPZ universality class. The KPZ fixed point is the first non-trivial universal fixed point in statistical physics not described via Gaussian models, perturbation theory, or conformal invariance, and is connected to completely integrable partial differential equations.

Quastel has been chair of the University of Toronto Mathematics Department 2017-21 and has received several awards for research including the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize and the Jeffery-Williams Prize.

Karen Vogtmann, FRS
School of Mathematics (1980–81)

Karen Vogtmann is a mathematician working in the areas of topology and algebra.

She is widely known for introducing new topological and geometric models for the study of infinite discrete groups, and has had a particularly strong influence on the modern approach to automorphism groups of free groups. Her work has connections to fields as diverse as the study of phylogenetic trees and perturbative quantum field theory, as well as to other areas of mathematics such as algebraic K-theory, homotopy theory, and 'tropical' algebraic geometry.

Vogtmann’s honors and awards include the Polya prize, a Humboldt Research Prize, a Royal Society Wolfson Research award, an honorary degree from the University of Copenhagen, a plenary address at the European Congress of Mathematicians and an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians. She is a member of the inaugural class of Fellows of the A.M.S. and of Academia Europa.

Before relocating to England she was the Goldwin Smith Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University and served as Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.

Stanley Deser, ForMemRS
School of Natural Sciences (1993–94)
School of Mathematics/Natural Sciences (1953­–55)

Stanley Deser was born on 19 March 1931 in Rovno (then Poland) and had a nomadic childhood in the turbulent thirties, including Poland, Palestine, France and Portugal before reaching the United States in May 1941.

Still moving a great deal until New York, where he finished High School and entered Brooklyn College, he received B.S. Summa cum Laude in 1949 and then attended Harvard Graduate School. He received an M.A. in 1950 and his Ph.D. in 1953, under Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger. He was a Postdoc at Institute for Advanced Study 1953–55 and Niels Bohr Institute 1955–57. He was an Instructor Harvard 1957-8, thence Associate to Full (endowed Chair) Professor at Brandeis University (emeritus 2005). He held numerous visiting foreign posts include CERN, Sorbonne, College de France, All Souls, Oxford, Kings and Imperial London. Currently, he holds research appointments at Brandeis University and Caltech.

His primary accomplishments, in High Energy and Gravitational Physics, include the ADM formulation of General Relativity, establishing existence of gravitational radiation and defining “ADM” energy, a long-time grail, discovery of Supergravity—now a major industry, topologically massive gravity, gauge theories and trace anomalies.

Honors include Dannie Heineman Prize in Mathematical Physics, Einstein Medal, (several) Fulbright and Guggenheim awards and Loeb lecturer, Harvard. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Torino Academy. He holds Honorary Ph.D.s from the universities of Stockholm (Centennial) and Gothenburg.

Claire Voisin, ForMemRS
School of Mathematics (2014–15)

Claire Voisin is an algebraic geometer recognized for her work on Hodge theory and algebraic cycles. She is known particularly for her construction of compact Kähler manifolds not homeomorphic to complex projective manifolds, for her proof of the generic Green conjecture on syzygies of canonical curves, and for her contribution to the stable Lüroth problem. Voisin entered Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1981 and she defended her PhD thesis in 1986 under the supervision of Arnaud Beauville. She then got a permanent position at CNRS, that she kept until 2016 where she became Professor at College de France (Algebraic geometry chair). Leaving Collège de France in October 2020, she went back to CNRS as a Senior researcher.

She received the Heinz Hopf prize in 2015 and the Shaw prize in 2017. She is a member of the Académie des sciences and foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers, and technologists from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

Read more at the Royal Society.


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