Past Visitor Dennis Parnell Sullivan Wins 2022 Abel Prize

Dennis Parnell Sullivan, past Visitor (1967–70, 1975) in the School of Mathematics, is this year’s winner of the prestigious Abel Prize. He is cited by the Abel Committee “for his groundbreaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense, and in particular its algebraic, geometric and dynamical aspects.” 

Sullivan, currently of Stony Brook University and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, joined IAS shortly after his thesis was completed at Princeton University, titled Triangulating Homotopy Equivalences. Around this time, he became known for a set of widely-influential unpublished notes that had a radical impact on the classification of smooth manifolds and central problems in algebraic topology. 

Later in his career, Sullivan continued to make important breakthroughs with IAS scholars: for instance, Professors Emeriti Phillip A. Griffiths and Pierre Deligne, whom he worked with on algebraic geometry in combination with Hodge theory; and Simon K. Donaldson, Member (1983–84), with whom he proved topological manifolds have a unique quasiconformal structure in all dimensions, except four. Additionally, one of Sullivan’s central conjectures in homotopy was eventually solved by past Member (1982–83) Haynes R. Miller

The Abel Prize, named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, is one of the preeminent honors in mathematics. Since its inception in 2001, IAS current and past Faculty and Members have made up 22 of the 25 Abel Laureates, with last year’s winner being Herbert H. Maass Professor Avi Wigderson and former Visiting Professor (2011–12) László Lovász. Recipients also include Professors Emeriti Robert Langlands in 2018 and Pierre Deligne in 2013. Current Distinguished Visiting Professor Karen Uhlenbeck, frequent Member and Visitor Andrew Wiles, and past Member John Nash are also Abel Laureates.

Read more at Abel Prize