Dennis DeTurck

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Dennis M. DeTurck (born July 15, 1954) is an American mathematician known for his work in partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry, in particular contributions to the theory of the Ricci flow and the prescribed Ricci curvature problem. He first used the DeTurck trick to give an alternative proof of the short time existence of the Ricci flow, which has found other uses since then.

He received a B.S. (1976) from Drexel University. He received an M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1980) in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. His Ph.D. supervisor was Jerry Kazdan.[1]

He is currently Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2005 and Faculty Director of Riepe College House.[2] In 2002 DeTurck won the Haimo Award from the Mathematical Association of America for his teaching.[3] Despite being recognized for excellence in teaching, he has been criticized for his belief that fractions are "as obsolete as Roman numerals" and suggesting that they not be taught to younger students.[4]

In January 2012 he shared the Chauvenet Prize with three mathematical collaborators.[5][6] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[7]

He is also well known within the Penn community for the famous cookie nights he hosts in his house.[8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Dennis M. DeTurck, Existence of metrics with prescribed Ricci curvature: local theory. Invent. Math. 65 (1981/82), no. 1, 179–207.
  • Dennis M. DeTurck, Deforming metrics in the direction of their Ricci tensors. J. Differential Geom. 18 (1983), no. 1, 157–162. (explains the DeTurck trick)


  1. ^ Dennis DeTurck at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "House Staff, Riepe College House, U. of Penn". Archived from the original on 2012-11-14.
  3. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics". MAA Online. The Mathematical Association of America. 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2007-12-26. order to honor college or university teachers who have been widely recognized as extraordinarily successful and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have had influence beyond their own institutions.
  4. ^ Maureen Milford (2007-12-26). "Educators divided by fractions debate". Philadelphia: The News Journal. Retrieved 2007-12-26. A few years ago, Dennis DeTurck, an award-winning professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, stood at an outdoor podium on campus and proclaimed "Down with fractions!"[dead link]
  5. ^ January 30, 2012, Penn News, Penn Mathematicians Win 2012 Chauvenet Prize
  6. ^ DeTurck, Dennis; Gluck, Herman; Pomerleano, Daniel; Vela-Vick, Shea (2007). "The Four Vertex Theorem and Its Converse". Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 54 (2): 192–207.
  7. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-10.
  8. ^

External links[edit]