2016 Frederic Esser Nemmers Mathematics Prize Recipient

János Kollár

2016 Nemmers Prize in Mathematics Recipient

János Kollár

Princeton University

For his fundamental contributions to algebraic geometry, including the minimal model program and its applications, the theory of rational connectedness and the study of real algebraic varieties.

Kollár’s specialty is algebraic geometry with additional interest in related questions in number theory, complex geometry and commutative algebra.  

He is well known for his contributions to the minimal model program for threefolds, for pioneering the notion of rational connectedness and for finding counterexamples to a conjecture of the late John Nash. In 1952, Nash conjectured a converse to a famous theorem he proved; Kollár was able to provide many three-dimensional counterexamples from an important new structure theory for a class of three-dimensional algebraic varieties.

The recipient of numerous honors during his career, Kollár was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2005 and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1995. He became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in 2012. Kollár received the 2006 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra from the AMS, one of the highest distinctions in mathematics. He also was named a Presidential Young Investigator in 1988 and a Sloan Foundation Fellow in 1989.

Kollár was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in 2014 in Seoul. In 1996, he gave one of the plenary addresses at the European Mathematical Congress in Budapest. In 1990, Kollár was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Kyōto.

Kollár is the author of more than 130 articles and 5 monographs in algebraic geometry. He serves as editor of several journals, including the Algebra and Number Theory and the Duke Mathematics Journal.

A native of Hungary, Kollár began his studies at the Eötvös University in Budapest and later received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1984 with Teruhisa Matsusaka. He was a Junior Fellow at Harvard from 1984 to 1987 and a professor at the University of Utah before joining the Princeton faculty in 1999. Kollár currently is the associate chair of Princeton’s department of mathematics.

Recent past winners of the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics include: Michael Hopkins (2014); Ingrid Daubechies (2012) Terence Tao (2010); Simon Donaldson (2008); and Robert P. Langlands (2006).