Iranian American Mathematician Honored

Iranian American Mathematician Honored

By Ramin Takloo-Bighash

Dr. Freydoon Shahidi, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has been elected to the 2010 Class of Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the first Iranian-American mathematician to receive this honor.  The new Fellows join one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. The Academy celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Shahidi is regarded as a world leader in mathematics. His work of the past few years on which he spoke at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) at Beijing in 2002, is the culmination of three decades of work on developing what is now known as the Langlands-Shahidi method, a method that connects information about seemingly unrelated areas of mathematics.  Shahidi’s work has been recognized throughout the international mathematics community. A Fellow of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science since 1993, Shahidi was appointed a Clay Mathematics Institute Prize Fellow in summer 2000. During the opening ceremonies of the 31st Iranian Mathematics Conference at the University of Tehran in August 2000, Shahidi was made one of the first three honorary members of the Iranian Mathematical Society. His work was discussed by three of the plenary speakers at the American Mathematical Society’s Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century, intended to be a survey of the important work in all areas of pure and applied mathematics to be done in this century. Shahidi was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2001. Purdue University hosted an international conference to celebrate Shahidi’s 60th birthday in 2007.

Shahidi is a graduate of Alborz High School and the University of Tehran’s College of Engineering (Daneshkadeh Fanni). He received his doctorate in mathematics at Johns Hopkins University in 1975.The Iranian-American members of the Academy include Ervand Abrahamian, Christiane Amanpour, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Ali Javan, Mehran Kardar, Parviz Moin, Pierre Omidyar, and Cumrun Vafa.

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