23 February 1930 |
|Alma mater||University of Tokyo|
|Doctoral students||Don Blasius
|Known for||Modularity theorem|
|Notable awards||Steele Prize (1996)
Cole Prize (1976)
Life and career
Shimura was a colleague and a friend of Yutaka Taniyama. They wrote a book (the first book treatment) on the complex multiplication of abelian varieties, an area which in collaboration they had opened up.
Shimura then wrote a long series of major papers, extending the phenomena found in the theory of complex multiplication and modular forms to higher dimensions (amongst other results). This work (and other developments it provoked) provided some of the 'raw data' later incorporated into the Langlands program. It equally brought out the concept, in general, of Shimura variety; which is the higher-dimensional equivalent of modular curve. Even to define in general a Shimura variety is quite a formidable task: they bear, roughly speaking, the same relation to general Hodge structures as modular curves do to elliptic curves.
Shimura himself has described his approach as 'phenomenological': his interest is in finding new types of interesting behaviour in the theory of automorphic forms. He also argues for a 'romantic' approach, something he finds lacking in the younger generation of mathematician. The central 'Shimura variety' concept has been tamed (by application of Lie group and algebraic group theory, and the extraction of the concept 'parametrises interesting family of Hodge structures' by reference to the algebraic geometry theory of 'motives', which is still largely conjectural). In that sense his work is now "mainstream-for-Princeton"; but this assimilation (through David Mumford, Pierre Deligne and others) hardly includes all of the content.
He is known to a wider public through the important modularity theorem (previously known as the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture before being proven in the 1990s); Kenneth Ribet has shown that the famous Fermat's last theorem follows from a special case of this theorem. Shimura dryly commented that his first reaction on hearing of Andrew Wiles's proof of the semistable case of the theorem was 'I told you so'.
Among many honors and awards, Shimura received the Cole Prize for number theory in 1976 and the Steele Prize for lifetime achievement in 1996, both from the American Mathematical Society. His Collected Works have been published, in five volumes.
His hobbies are shogi problems of extreme length and collecting Imari porcelain. The Story of Imari: The Symbols and Mysteries of Antique Japanese Porcelain is a non-fiction work by Shimura published by Ten Speed Press in 2008.
- Automorphic Functions and Number Theory. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 54 (Paperback ed.). Springer. 1968. ISBN 978-3-540-04224-2.
- Introduction to the Arithmetic Theory of Automorphic Functions (Paperback ed.). Princeton University Press. 1971-08-01. ISBN 978-0-691-08092-5. - It is published from Iwanami Shoten in Japan.
- Euler Products and Eisenstein Series. CBMS Regional Conference Series in Mathematics (Paperback ed.). American Mathematical Society. 1997-07-01. ISBN 978-0-8218-0574-9.
- Abelian Varieties with Complex Multiplication and Modular Functions (Hardcover ed.). Princeton University Press. 1997-12-08. ISBN 978-0-691-01656-6.
- Arithmeticity in the Theory of Automorphic Forms. Mathematical Surveys and Monographs (Paperback ed.). American Mathematical Society. 2000-08-22. ISBN 978-0-8218-2671-3.
- Arithmetic and Analytic Theories of Quadratic Forms and Clifford Groups. Mathematical Surveys and Monographs (Hardcover ed.). American Mathematical Society. 2004-03-01. ISBN 978-0-8218-3573-9.
- Elementary Dirichlet Series and Modular Forms. Springer Monographs in Mathematics (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2007. ISBN 978-0-387-72473-7.
- Arithmetic of Quadratic Forms. Springer Monographs in Mathematics (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2010-07-15. ISBN 978-1-4419-1731-7.
- The Story of Imari: The Symbols and Mysteries of Antique Japanese Porcelain (Hardcover ed.). Ten Speed Press. 2008-06-01. ISBN 978-1-58008-896-1.
- The Map of My Life (Hardcover ed.). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 2008-09-05. ISBN 978-0-387-79714-4. MR 2442779.
- Collected Papers. Ⅰ: 1954-1965 (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2002. ISBN 978-0-387-95406-6.
- Collected Papers. Ⅱ: 1967-1977 (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2002. ISBN 978-0-387-95416-5.
- Collected Papers. Ⅲ: 1978-1988 (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2003. ISBN 978-0-387-95417-2.
- Collected Papers. Ⅳ: 1989-2001 (Hardcover ed.). Springer. 2003. ISBN 978-0-387-95418-9.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Goro Shimura", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Goro Shimura at the Mathematics Genealogy Project