Peter Sarnak

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Peter Sarnak
Peter Sarnak.jpg
Born (1953-12-18) 18 December 1953 (age 61)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality South Africa[1]
United States[2]
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Courant Institute, New York University
Stanford University
Princeton University
Institute for Advanced Study
Alma mater Stanford University
University of the Witwatersrand
Doctoral advisor Paul Cohen
Doctoral students William Duke
Alex Eskin
Jonathan Pila
Kannan Soundararajan
Akshay Venkatesh
Jade Vinson
Known for Hafner–Sarnak–McCurley constant
Influences Carl Ludwig Siegel
Juergen Moser
Notable awards George Pólya Prize (1998)
Ostrowski Prize (2001)
Levi L. Conant Prize (2003)
Cole Prize (2005)
Wolf Prize (2014)

Peter Clive Sarnak (born 18 December 1953) is a South African-born American mathematician. He has been Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University since 2002, succeeding Andrew Wiles, and is an editor of the Annals of Mathematics. Sarnak is also on the permanent faculty at the School of Mathematics of the Institute for Advanced Study.[3] He also sits on the Board of Adjudicators and the selection committee for the Mathematics award, given under the auspices of the Shaw Prize.


Sarnak graduated University of the Witwatersrand (B.Sc. 1975) and Stanford University (Ph.D. 1980), under the direction of Paul Cohen. Sarnak’s work (with A. Lubotzky and R. Philips) on Ramanujan graphs had a huge impact on combinatorics and computer science. He used deep results in number theory to make important advances in another discipline.


Awards and honors[edit]

Peter Sarnak was awarded the Polya Prize of Society of Industrial & Applied Mathematics in 1998, the Ostrowski Prize in 2001, the Levi L. Conant Prize in 2003, the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory in 2005 and a Lester R. Ford Award in 2012.[4] He is the recipient of the 2014 Wolf Prize in Mathematics.[5]

He was also elected as member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and Fellow of the Royal Society (UK) in 2002. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010.[6]


  • Some Applications of Modular Forms, 1990
  • (joint editor) Extremal Riemann Surfaces, 1997
  • (joint author) Random Matrices, Frobenius Eigenvalues and Monodromy, 1998
  • (joint editor) Selected Works of Ilya Piatetski-Shapiro (Collected Works), 2000
  • (joint author) Elementary Number Theory, Group Theory and Ramanujan Graphs, 2003
  • (joint editor) Selected Papers Volume I-Peter Lax, 2005
  • (joint editor) Automorphic Forms and Applications, 2007

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sarnak, Peter. "CV February 2012". 
  2. ^ Sarnak, Peter. "CV February 2012". 
  3. ^ "Faculty: School of Mathematics". Institute for Advanced Study. 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  4. ^ Sarnak, Peter (2011). "Integral Apollonian Packings". Amer. Math. Monthly 118 (4): 291–306. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]