Department mourns loss of friend and colleague, Bill Thurston
Bill Thurston died peacefully, surrounded by family on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 in Rochester, of a melanoma that was diagnosed a year ago.
Bill was the one who taught us all what geometry should be. Whole generations have had their approach to mathematics changed and focused by Bill’s marvelous vision. The beauty and depth of his results have changed mathematics forever.
Perhaps his most famous and astounding discovery was the Geometrization Conjecture in 3 dimensions, which he formulated in complete generality and proved in many cases and which led to Perelman’s extraordinary full solution.
All those who knew Bill, especially his many students and collaborators, know that nothing can replace his insight and personality. We are all terribly saddened by this loss. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Share your thoughts, stories, and reminiscences about Bill’s life
Education and career
||B.A., New College in Sarasota, Florida
||Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Advisor: Morris W. Hirsch
Dissertation titled Foliations of Three-Manifolds which are Circle Bundles
||Assistant to John Milnor, Institute for Advanced Study
||Assistant Professor, MIT
||Sloan Fellow, MIT
||Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University
||Ulam Visiting Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder
||Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley
||Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
||Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Davis
||Jacob Gould Schurman Professor, Department of Mathematics and the Faculty of Computing and Information Science, Cornell University
||Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship
||Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry
||Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
||Alan T. Waterman Award
Citation: “Revolutionized study of topology in 2 and 3 dimensions, showing interplay between analysis, topology, and geometry. Contributed idea that very large class of closed 3-manifolds carry a hyperbolic structure.”
||Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences
||AMS Book Prize
||AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research
Last modified:January 2, 2013