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Memorial Conference to Commemorate the Life and Work of Vladimir Voevodsky

September 07, 2018
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Lee Sandberg
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Andrea Kane

The Institute for Advanced Study will commemorate the life and work of renowned mathematician Vladimir Voevodsky, former Professor in the School of Mathematics, during a four-day memorial conference that will take place September 11–14, 2018, approximately one year after his death. Experts from around the world will join together on the Institute campus to deliver a series of lectures that recognize Voevodsky’s transformational legacy across various fields of mathematics, including foundations of math, homotopy theory of schemes, algebraic K-theory, and interrelations between algebraic geometry and algebraic topology.

“As the Institute and mathematicians from around the world honor Vladimir Voevodsky, it is with profound and tender appreciation that we pay tribute to a dear colleague, extraordinary scholar, and visionary thinker, whose legacy will continue to guide groundbreaking work in mathematics and deeper understanding within the field,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study.

Professor Daniel Grayson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a former Institute Visitor and the lead scientific organizer of the conference commented, “Voevodsky was a mathematician with an immense talent for bringing the techniques of topology to bear on problems in algebra and logic, revolutionizing multiple disciplines in mathematics: algebraic geometry, formal computer proof, and the foundations of mathematics.”

The conference will commence with a lecture delivered by Professor Grayson at 10:00 a.m. on September 11. Additional conference speakers include:

Voevodsky’s work was characterized by an ability to handle highly abstract ideas, which he used to solve concrete mathematical problems. He obtained deep, fundamental results in algebraic geometry, using ideas from homotopy theory, and he made one of the most outstanding advances in algebraic geometry in the past few decades by developing new cohomology theories for algebraic varieties. Among the consequences of his work are the solutions of the Milnor and Bloch-Kato conjectures. More recently, Voevodsky had worked in type-theoretic formalizations of mathematics and automated proof verification. He was working on new foundations of mathematics based on homotopy-theoretic semantics of Martin-Löf type theories. His new “univalence axiom” has had a dramatic impact in both mathematics and computer science.

Voevodsky was born in Moscow on June 4, 1966. He attended Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1992 under his adviser David Kazhdan. Voevodsky was awarded the Fields Medal in 2002 at age thirty-six, shortly after his appointment as Professor in the School of Mathematics. He had spent the prior three years (1998–2001) as a long-term Member. Voevodsky died at age 51 on September 30, 2017 in Princeton, New Jersey.

This conference is supported by the Institute for Advanced Study and the Schwab Charitable Fund made possible by the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt. A schedule of conference speakers is available at https://www.math.ias.edu/vvmc2018/agenda. View a live stream of talks at www.math.ias.edu/vvmc2018-live-stream.