Fellow: Awarded 2012
Field of Study: Mathematics
Competition: US & Canada
I became interested in mathematics while in high school, when I received a bronze medal in the 24th International Mathematical Olympiad in Paris (1983) and a special distinction for an unusual solution to one of the problems. I received my B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Athens, Greece, in 1987, and my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992.
I have held positions at MIT, Harvard, Brown University, BrandeisUniversity, and the University of Warwick, England. I was hired by Georgia Tech in 1999, and received tenure in 2001 and promotion to a professor in 2003.
I believe that Mathematics is a unified subject that combines abstract principles with effective computations for problems of natural origin. As an example, the Jones polynomial of a knot and its parallels, itself a sequence of polynomials with integer coefficients, leads to a number of problems in seemingly unrelated areas.
My area of research, Quantum Topology, is an excuse for pursuing research in 3-dimensional Hyperbolic Geometry, 3-dimensional Topology, Number Theory, Enumerative Combinatorics, Asymptotics and Cherns-Simons Topological Quantum Field Theory.