

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
Remembrances
Education and career
1967 
B.A., New College in Sarasota, Florida 
1972 
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Advisor: Morris W. Hirsch
Dissertation titled Foliations of ThreeManifolds which are Circle Bundles 
19721973 
Assistant to John Milnor, Institute for Advanced Study 
Fall 1973 
Assistant Professor, MIT 
Spring 1974 
Sloan Fellow, MIT 
1974 
Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University 
19821983 
Ulam Visiting Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder 
19911996 
Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley 
19921997 
Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute 
19962003 
Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Davis 
20032012 
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor, Department of Mathematics and the Faculty of Computing and Information Science, Cornell University 
Honors
1974–1975 
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship 
1976 
Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry 
1978 
Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
1979 
Alan T. Waterman Award 
1982 
Fields Medal
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 3manifolds carry a hyperbolic structure.” 
1983 
Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences 
2005 
AMS Book Prize 
2012 
AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research 
Last modified:January 2, 2013
