Bertram Kostant at a workshop on “Enveloping Algebras and Geometric Representation Theory” in Oberwolfach, 2009
|Born||1928 (age 87–88)
|Institutions||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Doctoral advisor||Irving Segal|
|Doctoral students||Arlie Petters
James Harris Simons
|Known for||Kostant partition function
Kostant–Parthasarathy–Ranga Rao–Varadarajan determinants
|Notable awards||Wigner Medal (2016)|
Early life and education
Kostant grew up in New York City, where he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1945. He went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Purdue University in 1950. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1954, under the direction of Irving Segal, where he wrote a dissertation on representations of Lie groups.
Career in mathematics
After time at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, and the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he remained until his retirement in 1993. Kostant's work has involved representation theory, Lie groups, Lie algebras, homogeneous spaces, differential geometry and mathematical physics, particularly symplectic geometry. He has given several lectures on the Lie group E8. He has been one of the principal developers of the theory of geometric quantization. His introduction of the theory of prequantization has led to the theory of quantum Toda lattices. The Kostant partition function is named after him.
Awards and honors
- "Professor Kostant's Homepage". MIT Math Department. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- Bertram Kostant (2008-02-12). "On Some Mathematics in Garrett Lisi's 'E8 Theory of Everything'". UC Riverside mathematics colloquium. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-27.