Dennis Sullivan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dennis Parnell Sullivan
Dennis Sullivan at MSRI.jpg
Born (1941-02-12) February 12, 1941 (age 80)
Alma materPrinceton University
Rice University
Known forConnes–Donaldson–Sullivan–Teleman index theorem
Parry–Sullivan invariant
Sullivan conjecture
Density conjecture
Localization of a topological space
No-wandering-domain theorem
Rational homotopy theory
String topology
AwardsBalzan Prize (2014)
Wolf Prize (2010)
Leroy P. Steele Prize (2006)
National Medal of Science (2004)
Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (1971)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCity University of New York
Stony Brook University
Doctoral advisorWilliam Browder
Doctoral studentsHarold Abelson
Curtis T. McMullen

Dennis Parnell Sullivan (born February 12, 1941[1]) is an American mathematician. He is known for work in topology, both algebraic and geometric, and on dynamical systems. He holds the Albert Einstein Chair at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and is a professor at Stony Brook University.

Work in topology[edit]

He received his B.A. in 1963 from Rice University and his doctorate in 1966 from Princeton University. His Ph.D. thesis, entitled Triangulating homotopy equivalences, was written under the supervision of William Browder,[2] and was a contribution to surgery theory. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1967–1968, 1968–1970, and again in 1975.[3] Sullivan was a permanent member of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques from 1974 to 1997.[4]

Sullivan is one of the founders of the surgery method of classifying high-dimensional manifolds, along with Browder, Sergei Novikov and C. T. C. Wall. In homotopy theory, Sullivan put forward the radical concept that spaces could directly be localised, a procedure hitherto applied to the algebraic constructs made from them. He founded (along with Daniel Quillen) rational homotopy theory.

The Sullivan conjecture, proved in its original form by Haynes Miller, states that the classifying space BG of a finite group G is sufficiently different from any finite CW complex X, that it maps to such an X only 'with difficulty'; in a more formal statement, the space of all mappings BG to X, as pointed spaces and given the compact-open topology, is weakly contractible. This area has generated considerable further research. (Both these matters are discussed in his 1970 MIT notes.)

Work in dynamics[edit]

In 1985, he proved the No wandering domain theorem. The Parry–Sullivan invariant is named after him and the English mathematician Bill Parry.

In 1987, he proved Thurston's conjecture about the approximation of the Riemann map by circle packings together with Burton Rodin.

Awards and honors[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Sullivan, Dennis (1977), "Infinitesimal computations in topology", Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS, 47: 269–331, doi:10.1007/BF02684341, MR 0646078, S2CID 42019745
  • Deligne, Pierre; Griffiths, Phillip; Morgan, John; Sullivan, Dennis (1975). "Real homotopy theory of Kähler manifolds". Inventiones Mathematicae. 29 (3): 245–274. doi:10.1007/BF01389853. MR 0382702. S2CID 1357812.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, Anthony (2005), "Dennis Sullivan", in Takhtadzhi͡a︡n, Leon Armenovich (ed.), Graphs and patterns in mathematics and theoretical physics, Providence: AMS Bookstore, p. xiii, ISBN 0-8218-3666-8.
  2. ^ Dennis Sullivan at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "Dennis Sullivan at the Institute of Advanced Study".
  4. ^ "Dennis Sullivan at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques".
  5. ^ "Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  6. ^ "Dennis Sullivan". IHES (in French). Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  7. ^ "National Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  8. ^ "American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  9. ^ Winners of Prestigious Wolf Prize Announced
  10. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-08-05.
  11. ^ "Sullivan awarded Balzan Prize" Notices of the AMS

External links[edit]