Vaughan Jones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the mathematician. For the former soccer player, see Vaughan Jones (footballer).
Sir Vaughan Jones
Vaughan Jones p1190550.jpg
Vaughan Jones in 2007
Born (1952-12-31) 31 December 1952 (age 61)
Gisborne, New Zealand
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Vanderbilt University
Alma mater University of Geneva
University of Auckland
Doctoral advisor André Haefliger
Known for Von Neumann algebras, knot polynomials,
conformal field theory
Notable awards Fields Medal (1990)

Sir Vaughan Frederick Randal Jones KNZM FRS FRSNZ FAA (born 31 December 1952) is a New Zealand mathematician, known mostly for his work on von Neumann algebras and knot polynomials. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1990, and famously wore a New Zealand rugby jersey when he gave his acceptance speech in Kyoto. Jones is currently on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as a distinguished professor of mathematics.[1] He previously served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a Distinguished Alumni Professor at the University of Auckland.

Jones was born in Gisborne, New Zealand and brought up in Cambridge, New Zealand, completing secondary school at Auckland Grammar School. His undergraduate studies were at the University of Auckland, from where he obtained a BSc in 1972 and an MSc in 1973. For his graduate studies, he went to Switzerland, where he completed his PhD at the University of Geneva in 1979. His thesis, titled Actions of finite groups on the hyperfinite II1 factor, was written under the supervision of André Haefliger. In 1980, he moved to the United States, where he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (1980–1981) and the University of Pennsylvania (1981–1985), before being appointed as Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.

His work on knot polynomials, with the discovery of what is now called the Jones polynomial, was from an unexpected direction with origins in the theory of von Neumann algebras, an area of analysis already much developed by Alain Connes. It led to the solution of a number of the classical problems of knot theory, and to increased interest in low-dimensional topology.

He was awarded the Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1991, and the Fields Medal in 1990. Also in 1990 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society[2] In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2002 Jones was appointed Distinguished Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mathematics.[3] In the Special Honours 2009 Jones redesignated his DCNZM to a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit.[4] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[5] Jones was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 1992 as a Corresponding Fellow.


  • Actions of finite groups on the hyperfinite type II1 factor. Memoirs of the AMS. 1980. 
  • with Frederick M. Goodman and Pierre de la Harpe: Coxeter graphs and towers of algebras. Springer-Verlag. 1989. [6]
  • Subfactors and knots. AMS. 1991. [7]
  • with V. S. Sunder: Introduction to subfactors. Cambridge University Press. 1997. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Salisbury, David (6 April 2011). "Fields Medalist joins Vanderbilt faculty". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Fellows". Royal Society. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours 2002" (5 June 2002) 57 New Zealand Gazette 1553.
  4. ^ Special Honours List (12 August 2009) 118 New Zealand Gazette 2691
  5. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 26 January 2013.
  6. ^ Birman, Joan S. (1991). "Review: Coxeter graphs and towers of algebras, by F. M. Goodman, P. de la Harpe, and V. F. R. Jones". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 25 (1): 195–199. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1991-16063-5. 
  7. ^ Kauffman, Louis H. (1994). "Review: Subfactors and knots, by V. F. R. Jones". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 31 (1): 147–154. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1994-00509-9. 

External links[edit]