MEDIA RELEASE — April 12, 2013

Canadian Mathematical Society

April 12, 2013


Zinovy Reichstein to Receive CMS 2013 Jeffery-Williams Prize for Research Excellence

Dr. Zinovy Reichstein

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Zinovy Reichstein from the University of British Columbia is the recipient of the 2013 Jeffery-Williams Prize, to be awarded in December at the Society’s Winter Meeting in Ottawa.

The Jeffery Williams Prize was inaugurated 1968 and is annually awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to mathematical research in Canada. This prize is named partly for former CMS president Ralph Jeffery and partly for former CMS treasurer, Lloyd Williams.

“Prof. Reichstein is an outstanding mathematician who has made groundbreaking contributions to the fields of Algebra, Algebraic Geometry and Algebraic Groups,” said Efim Zelmanov (University of California) in his letter of nomination. “His introduction of the notion of essential dimension has proved to be one of the most important advances in Algebra and Algebraic Groups in the last decade."

Reichstein’s most notable research accomplishment is the discovery of an entirely new branch of study known as the essential dimension. Informally speaking, the essential dimension of an algebraic object is the minimal number of independent parameters one needs to define it. Essential dimension has proved to be a natural way to measure how complex an algebraic group is and, since its development, has been explored by mathematicians all over the world. In 2010 Reichstein gave an invited lecture on this topic at the International Congress of Mathematicians.

Developments in Algebra, Algebraic Geometry and Algebraic Groups support many areas within the mathematical sciences and a wide range of applications including error-correcting codes, crystallography and computational algebra.

“Over the past 15 years, Zinovy Reichstein's research has had a great impact on the mathematical community" said Lia Bronsard, Chair of the CMS Research Committee. “Zinovy’s numerous contributions to the study of modern algebra make him truly deserving of the Jeffery-Williams Prize.”

Zinovy Reichstein was born in Yaroslavl, Russia, and obtained his undergraduate degree at Caltech in 1983. Reichstein went on to complete his PhD at Harvard University under the supervision of Michael Artin. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Berkeley and a faculty position at Oregon State. In 2001, Reichstein accepted a position at the University of British Columbia. He served as Associate Head of the UBC Mathematics Department from 2008 to 2010 and, in 2012, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Lia Bronsard, Chair
CMS Research Committee
Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
905-525-9140, ext. 23418
or Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 733-2662 ext. 728

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the national mathematics organization whose goal is to promote the advancement, discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.