Board of Directors

Ro­b Kirby (chair)

University of Cali­for­nia, Berke­ley

Ro­bi­on C. Kirby is Board chair and chief ex­ec­ut­ive of MSP, and a pro­fess­or emer­it­us of math­em­at­ics at the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia at Berke­ley. An in­flu­en­tial spe­cial­ist in low-di­men­sion­al to­po­logy, he has had over 50 doc­tor­al stu­dents and was the first math­em­atician to re­ceive the U.S. Na­tion­al Academy of Sci­ences’ Award for Sci­entif­ic Re­view­ing.

Along­side Colin Rourke, John Jones and Bri­an Sander­son, Rob was a found­ing ed­it­or­i­al-board mem­ber of Geo­metry & To­po­logy, MSP’s flag­ship journ­al. Through his work with GT and MSP, and by dir­ect en­gage­ment with his fel­low math­em­aticians, he has been in­stru­ment­al in rais­ing aware­ness of the fin­an­cial prob­lems faced by read­ers of sci­entif­ic re­search, and what the sci­entif­ic com­munity can do about it. In 2013, the Spe­cial Lib­rar­ies As­so­ci­ation honored Rob’s work at MSP and else­where by award­ing him their Phys­ics-As­tro­nomy-Math­em­at­ics Di­vi­sion Award:

Dr. Kirby’s sig­ni­fic­ant con­tri­bu­tions with MSP be­ne­fit lib­rar­ies and en­hance the abil­ity of lib­rar­i­ans to provide ser­vice, and im­prove the ex­change of in­form­a­tion.

Cita­tion for the 2013 SLA-PAM Di­vi­sion Award

An out­door en­thu­si­ast, Rob has spent many hun­dreds of days in the Si­er­ras and the Canyon­lands. He has as­cen­ded Kil­aman­jaro with his wife Linda, son Rolf, and daugh­ter Kate; McKin­ley with his broth­er Doug; and the clas­sic route on Half Dome with Mike Freed­man and Den­nis John­son. He has also en­joyed many years of white­wa­ter kayak­ing, with his first des­cents in the late 70s with Den­nis John­son and fine days since then with Joel Hass and Abby Thompson.

Colin Rourke (vice chair)

University of War­wick

Colin P. Rourke is vice chair of the Board. He is a pro­fess­or emer­it­us of math­em­at­ics at the Uni­versity of War­wick, and has also taught at the Prin­ceton In­sti­tute for Ad­vanced Study, Queen Mary Col­lege Lon­don, the Uni­versity of Wis­con­sin at Madis­on, and the Open Uni­versity, where he mas­ter­minded re­writ­ing the pure math­em­at­ics course.

Colin has lec­tured for 49 years and hopes to com­plete his half-cen­tury next year. He has writ­ten pa­pers in high-di­men­sion­al PL to­po­logy, low-di­men­sion­al to­po­logy, com­bin­at­or­i­al group the­ory and dif­fer­en­tial to­po­logy, and has re­cently moved in­to cos­mo­logy where he aims to make both dark mat­ter and the big bang re­dund­ant.

In 1996, dis­sat­is­fied with the rap­idly rising fees charged by the ma­jor pub­lish­ers of math­em­at­ic­al re­search journ­als, Colin de­cided to start his own journ­al, and was ably as­sisted by Rob Kirby, John Jones and Bri­an Sander­son. That journ­al be­came Geo­metry & To­po­logy. Un­der Colin’s lead­er­ship, GT has be­come a lead­ing journ­al in its field while re­main­ing one of the least ex­pens­ive per page. GT was joined in 1998 by a pro­ceed­ings and mono­graphs series, Geo­metry & To­po­logy Mono­graphs, and in 2000 by a sis­ter journ­al, Al­geb­ra­ic & Geo­met­ric To­po­logy. Colin wrote the soft­ware and fully man­aged these pub­lic­a­tions un­til around 2005; he man­ages their pro­duc­tion to this day. With his wife Daphne, he runs a small­hold­ing in Northamp­ton­shire, where they farm Hebridean sheep and Dex­ter cattle.

Ted Slaman (treasurer)

University of California, Berkeley

Theodore A. Sla­man works in math­em­at­ic­al lo­gic, with a spe­cial em­phas­is on re­cur­sion the­ory. He re­ceived his PhD from Har­vard Uni­versity in 1981 un­der Ger­ald Sacks. After an NSF Postdoc­tor­al Fel­low­ship, he spent the first half of his aca­dem­ic ca­reer at the Uni­versity of Chica­go (1983–1996). In 1996, he moved to the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia Berke­ley, where he in­tends to stay. He served as Chair of the Berke­ley De­part­ment of Math­em­at­ics dur­ing 2003–2006 and again dur­ing 2009–2010.

Ted is prone to in­tense en­thu­si­asms. These cur­rently in­clude com­bin­ing ideas and meth­ods from Di­o­phant­ine ap­prox­im­a­tion with those from re­cur­sion the­ory, listen­ing to re­cord­ings of Glenn Gould, and ex­plor­ing the back roads of the East Bay on a Vespa, but nev­er all three at the same time.

Carol Wood (secretary)

Wesleyan University

Car­ol S. Wood works in mod­el the­ory and its con­nec­tions to al­gebra and com­bin­at­or­ics. She was born in Pen­ning­ton Gap, Vir­gin­ia, and is proud to be a hill­billy. She re­ceived a PhD in math­em­at­ics at Yale in 1971 un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Ab­ra­ham Robin­son. Her aca­dem­ic ca­reer has been based en­tirely at Wes­ley­an Uni­versity. She is now the Ed­ward Burr van Vleck Pro­fess­or of Math­em­at­ics Emer­ita.

For over 25 years she has been en­gaged in the math­em­at­ics com­munity in a vari­ety of roles, in­clud­ing pres­id­ent of the As­so­ci­ation for Wo­men in Math­em­at­ics, pro­gram of­ficer in the Di­vi­sion of Math­em­at­ic­al Sci­ences at the Na­tion­al Sci­ence Found­a­tion, deputy dir­ect­or at the Math­em­at­ic­al Sci­ences Re­search In­sti­tute, and trust­ee of the Amer­ic­an Math­em­at­ic­al So­ci­ety, where she is an In­aug­ur­al Fel­low. At present she is a mem­ber of the US Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee for Math­em­at­ics. To­geth­er with oth­er former stu­dents and col­leagues of her un­der­gradu­ate ad­visor, Car­ol helped to cre­ate AWM’s M. Gwen­eth Humphreys Award to re­cog­nize out­stand­ing ment­or­ing of un­der­gradu­ate wo­men in math­em­at­ics.

Car­ol’s cur­rent non-math­em­at­ic­al de­lights are fam­ily, es­pe­cially four grand­chil­dren, fish­ing on Cape Cod, cook­ing in Berke­ley, Iy­engar yoga and Bar Meth­od, and trav­el­ing.

Paul Balmer

University of California, Los Angeles

Paul Balmer works in al­gebra, more spe­cific­ally around ho­mo­lo­gic­al and ho­mo­top­ic­al al­gebra, cat­egory the­ory, K-the­ory, rep­res­ent­a­tion the­ory, al­geb­ra­ic geo­metry and re­lated top­ics. He is de­vel­op­ing a sub­ject called “tensor-tri­an­gu­lar geo­metry”, an um­brella for sev­er­al geo­met­ric the­or­ies in­volving tensor-tri­an­gu­lated cat­egor­ies.

Paul ob­tained his PhD in 1998 un­der Manuel Ojanguren, at the Uni­versity of Lausanne, a Swiss uni­versity which has since ceased award­ing PhDs in math­em­at­ics (for un­re­lated reas­ons, it is claimed). After a few postdocs, Paul spent five years at ETH Zürich, then joined UCLA in 2007. Paul was an in­vited speak­er at the In­ter­na­tion­al Con­gress of Math­em­aticians in 2010, and be­came a Fel­low of the AMS in 2012. He was awar­ded a Hum­boldt Re­search Award in 2015. He joined the MSP Board at the end of 2016.

Paul serves on the ed­it­or­i­al boards of the Pa­cific Journ­al of Math­em­at­ics and of the An­nals of K-The­ory, a journ­al he helped cre­ate in 2015. He also serves as trust­ee of the K-The­ory Found­a­tion, the aca­dem­ic non­profit that owns AKT.

In his free time, Paul is a vig­or­ous prac­ti­tion­er of far ni­ente. He also reached ex­pert­ise at be­gin­ner yoga, and en­joys play­ing a broad vari­ety of games.

Susan Hezlet

Susan P. Hez­let re­ceived her DPhil from Ox­ford in 1993, work­ing with Dick Dal­itz in the­or­et­ic­al particle phys­ics. This was a tri­umph of am­bi­tion over abil­ity and she quickly switched roles to a ca­reer in aca­dem­ic pub­lish­ing, work­ing briefly for World Sci­entif­ic and Spring­er be­fore mov­ing to the Lon­don Math­em­at­ic­al So­ci­ety in 1998. As Pub­lish­er for the LMS, she fo­cussed on the in­ter­na­tion­al col­lab­or­a­tions that are uniquely im­port­ant to math­em­at­ics and its pub­lish­ing, most not­ably with the Dutch Found­a­tion Com­posi­tio Math­em­at­ica. She in­tro­duced the first elec­tron­ic sub­mis­sion sys­tem for math­em­at­ics journ­als, which led to a great in­crease in the quant­ity of pa­pers sent to the LMS journ­als. This was fol­lowed by a less­er, but still sig­ni­fic­ant, in­crease in the qual­ity of pa­pers ac­cep­ted by the journ­als’ Ed­it­ors. The sys­tem was even­tu­ally re­placed in 2012 by Ed­it­Flow, for which the LMS Ed­it­or­i­al Ad­vis­ory Boards are truly grate­ful.

Susan served as Treas­urer, and later Dir­ect­or, on the Board of the As­so­ci­ation for Learned and Pro­fes­sion­al So­ci­ety Pub­lish­ers for eight years. This work provided fas­cin­at­ing in­sights to the wider world of not-for-profit pub­lish­ing and the op­por­tun­ity to take an act­ive part in dis­cus­sion with gov­ern­ments on the rel­ev­ance of peer re­view and pub­lish­ing to the pro­cess of re­search. Her greatest achieve­ment was a series of wins of the ALPSP Con­fer­ence Din­ner Quiz; her spe­cial tal­ent is know­ing next to whom to sit at din­ner.

In Oc­to­ber 2016, Susan moved to Ed­in­burgh. This is not yet a re­tire­ment, more a change of pace and the op­por­tun­ity to live in one of the most beau­ti­ful cit­ies in Europe. Hav­ing spent many years en­joy­ing the road North to the High­lands and Is­lands, they are now with­in easy reach. Just as soon as it warms up, she'll be out there.

Rafe Mazzeo

Stanford University

Rafe R. Mazzeo works in and around geo­met­ric ana­lys­is and par­tial dif­fer­en­tial equa­tions. He has writ­ten pa­pers on geo­met­ric scat­ter­ing the­ory, Hodge the­ory and in­dex the­ory, spec­tral geo­metry and vari­ous types of curvature equa­tions. His par­tic­u­lar in­terest is geo­met­ric ana­lys­is in the set­ting of strat­i­fied spaces, and he has had a hand in de­vel­op­ing the field of geo­met­ric mi­cro­loc­al ana­lys­is.

Rafe was a stu­dent of Richard Mel­rose at MIT, and ar­rived at Stan­ford im­me­di­ately after his PhD in 1986. He spent two years at the Uni­versity of Wash­ing­ton in the early '90s, but has been at Stan­ford the rest of his ca­reer. He served as de­part­ment chair from 2007 to 2010.

Rafe is also quite in­ter­ested in out­reach: he cofoun­ded the Stan­ford Uni­versity Math Camp, is fac­ulty dir­ect­or of Stan­ford Pre-Col­legi­ate Stud­ies, and was re­cently named as the dir­ect­or of the Park City Math­em­at­ics In­sti­tute, the out­reach pro­gram of the In­sti­tute for Ad­vanced Study. Away from the world of math, he loves the out­doors, trav­el­ing and spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends.

Wal­ter Neu­mann

Barn­ard Col­lege & Columbia University

Wal­ter D. Neu­mann re­ceived his PhD in Bonn un­der Fried­rich Hirzebruch, and then taught in vari­ous uni­versit­ies around the world (most re­cently at the Uni­versity of Mel­bourne) be­fore tak­ing his cur­rent po­s­i­tion at Barn­ard Col­lege and Columbia Uni­versity, in 2000. His re­search fo­cus is low-di­men­sion­al to­po­logy and re­lated areas.

Wal­ter has been an ed­it­or of Geo­metry & To­po­logy since its in­cep­tion, tak­ing over as man­aging ed­it­or in 2005 from Colin Rourke (one of the founders of GT) and passing the bat­on to Yasha Eli­ash­berg in 2012. He re­mains an ed­it­or of GT and has been an act­ive mem­ber of the MSP Board of Dir­ect­ors since it was foun­ded. Wal­ter serves on sev­er­al oth­er ed­it­or­i­al boards and is an avid sup­port­er of low-cost sci­entif­ic pub­lish­ing. He is also a lender with the not-for-profit Kiva Mi­cro­funds, where he has helped more than 60 en­tre­pren­eurs build busi­nesses and im­prove their live­li­hoods.

Alice Peters

National Museum of Mathematics

Alice Peters is cur­rently the pro­gram de­veloper for pub­lic­a­tions at the Na­tion­al Mu­seum of Math­em­at­ics. She also con­sults and provides ed­it­or­i­al, pro­duc­tion, and mar­ket­ing ser­vices to au­thors and pub­lish­ers, in­clud­ing provid­ing full e-pub­lish­ing as­sist­ance. She was the co-founder of A K Peters Ltd, an in­de­pend­ent sci­entif­ic-pub­lish­ing com­pany, that was ac­quired in 2012 by Taylor & Fran­cis. She has been act­ively in­volved in pub­lish­ing for more than 40 years, first as math­em­at­ics and com­puter sci­ence ed­it­or for Spring­er-Ver­lag, both in New York and Heidel­berg, and later as co-founder and pub­lish­er of Birkhäuser Bo­ston, and pub­lish­er at Aca­dem­ic Press/Har­court Brace Jovan­ovich. She re­ceived de­grees in both com­puter sci­ence and math­em­at­ics from the Uni­versity of Chica­go, as well as an MBA from Bab­son Col­lege, Olin School of Man­age­ment.

Alice en­joys tak­ing ad­vant­age of the many cul­tur­al of­fer­ings in New York City, and tak­ing long walks ex­plor­ing NY neigh­bor­hoods. She takes great pleas­ure in in­spir­ing young chil­dren, in­clud­ing her sev­en grand­chil­dren, to ap­pre­ci­ate mu­sic and math­em­at­ics.

Abby Thompson

University of California, Davis

Abi­gail A. Thompson was awar­ded a PhD from Rut­gers in 1986, work­ing with ad­visor Marty Schar­le­mann. She spent the fol­low­ing year at the Hebrew Uni­versity in Jer­u­s­alem, fun­ded by a Lady Dav­is Fel­low­ship. In 1987 she was awar­ded a Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia Pres­id­ent’s Postdoc­tor­al Fel­low­ship at Berke­ley, where her postdoc­tor­al ad­visor was Rob Kirby. In 1988 she joined the U.C. Dav­is fac­ulty, where she has re­mained ever since, play­ing the cello and do­ing some math. She has twice been a vis­it­ing mem­ber of the In­sti­tute for Ad­vanced Study, and has been an NSF Postdoc­tor­al Fel­low and a Sloan Found­a­tion Fel­low. In 2003 she was awar­ded the AMS Ruth Lyttle Sat­ter Prize in Math­em­at­ics for her work in low-di­men­sion­al to­po­logy.

Paul Vojta

University of Cali­for­nia, Berkeley

Paul A. Vo­jta re­ceived his PhD at Har­vard Uni­versity in 1983 un­der Barry Mazur, and then spent three years teach­ing at Yale be­fore com­ing to Berke­ley, where he has stayed ever since. He works in num­ber the­ory, con­cen­trat­ing on an as-yet poorly un­der­stood re­la­tion between Di­o­phant­ine ap­prox­im­a­tion and a part of com­plex ana­lys­is known as Nevan­linna the­ory. He re­ceived the Frank Nel­son Cole Prize in Num­ber the­ory from the AMS in 1992.

Paul is also act­ive in the TeX com­munity, hav­ing main­tained the pro­gram xdvi for many years. Cur­rently, he sup­ports the web-based home­work sys­tem WeB­WorK at Berke­ley. He also en­joys read­ing, listen­ing to clas­sic­al mu­sic, and dan­cing west coast swing (but not at the same time).


Joan Birman (director emerita)

Barn­ard Col­lege & Columbia University

Joan S. Birman was on the ori­gin­al ed­it­or­i­al boards of both Geo­metry & To­po­logy and Al­geb­ra­ic & Geo­met­ric Topo­lo­gy. Her in­terest in low-cost non-com­mer­cial jour­nal pub­lish­ing was ex­pressed in an art­icle that she wrote in 2000, “Sci­entif­ic pub­lish­ing: A math­em­atician’s view­point,” No­tices AMS 47:7.

She re­ceived her PhD from the Cour­ant In­sti­tute of New York Uni­versity in 1968. In ad­di­tion to be­ing a re­search pro­fess­or emer­it­us at Barn­ard Col­lege and Columbia Uni­versity, Joan is an af­fil­i­ated pro­fess­or at the Uni­versity of Haifa. Spe­cial­iz­ing in knots, braids, 3-man­i­folds, and map­ping class groups of sur­faces, Joan is fre­quently in­vited to speak on these top­ics at meet­ings and con­fer­ences. In 2005, the De­part­ment of Math­em­at­ics at Columbia Uni­versity and Barn­ard Col­lege held such a con­fer­ence in her hon­or.

Joan re­tired from the MSP Board in Oc­to­ber 2013.

Ron­ Stern (director emeritus)

University of Cali­for­nia, Irvine

Ron­ald J. Stern serves on the boards of a num­ber of pub­lic­a­tions and or­gan­iz­a­tions, in­clud­ing the Pa­cific Journ­al of Math­em­at­ics, the Amer­ic­an Math­em­at­ic­al So­ci­ety, the In­sti­tute for Pure and Ap­plied Math­em­at­ics, the IAS/Park City Math­em­at­ics In­sti­tute, and the Friends of the In­ter­na­tion­al Math­em­at­ics Uni­on. At MSP, he is also an ed­it­or for Geo­metry & To­po­logy. He has been a part of MSP since the com­pany was foun­ded, and was in­stru­ment­al in be­gin­ning the part­ner­ship between MSP and PJM which con­tin­ues to this day.

Ron is a pro­fess­or emer­it­us at the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia at Irvine, where he was chair of the De­part­ment of Math­em­at­ics and dean of the School of Phys­ic­al Sci­ences. While not do­ing re­search fo­cus­ing on low-di­men­sion­al to­po­logy, he is an avid scuba diver and jazz pi­an­ist.

After serving as sec­ret­ary-treas­urer, Ron re­tired from the MSP Board in June 2015.