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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.