Jerrold B. Tunnell

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Jerrold B. Tunnell
Jerrold Bates Tunnell

(1950-09-16)September 16, 1950
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
DiedApril 1, 2022(2022-04-01) (aged 71)
Texas, U.S.
Alma materHarvey Mudd College
Harvard University
Known forLanglands–Tunnell theorem
Tunnell's theorem
AwardsFellow of the American Mathematical Society (2013)
Scientific career
InstitutionsRutgers University
ThesisOn the Local Langlands Conjecture for GL(2) (1977)
Doctoral advisorJohn Tate

Jerrold Bates Tunnell (September 16, 1950 – April 1, 2022) was a mathematician known for his work in number theory. He was an associate professor of mathematics at Rutgers University.

Early life and education[edit]

Tunnell was born on September 16, 1950, in Dallas, Texas.[1]

He graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 1972.[2][3] He received his PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1977.[4][5][3] His thesis, On the Local Langlands Conjecture for GL(2), was advised by John Tate.[5]


After graduation, Tunnell taught at Princeton University and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1982 to 1983.[4][3] He joined the mathematics faculty at Rutgers University in 1983,[3] eventually becoming an associate professor of mathematics.[6] He advised 7 PhD students.[3]


In 1981, Tunnell generalized Langlands' work on the Artin conjecture, establishing a special case known as the Langlands–Tunnell theorem that later became a key component in the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.[7][8]

He proved Tunnell's theorem in 1983, which gives a partial unconditional solution to the congruent number problem and a complete solution conditional on the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2013, Tunnell was elected in the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Starting in 2004, Tunnell made cross-country cycling trips from Highland Park, New Jersey, to Syracuse, New York, in every U.S. election cycle.[11]

Tunnell died on April 1, 2022, in rural Texas.[1][3] He was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle from St. Augustine, Florida, to his 50th class reunion at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Jerrold Tunnell". Neal Funeral Home. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  2. ^ "Benjamin, Pippenger, Klawe and alumni named to first class of AMS Fellows" (PDF). mudd/math. Vol. 7, no. 1. Harvey Mudd College. 2013. pp. 4–5. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Jerrold Bates Tunnell". Rio Grande Sun. April 15, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Jerrold B. Tunnell". Institute for Advanced Study. December 9, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Jerrold B. Tunnell at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ "Jerrold Tunnell". Rutgers University. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  7. ^ Tunnell, Jerrold (1981). "Artin's conjecture for representations of octahedral type". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. N. S. 5 (2): 173–175. doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-1981-14936-3.
  8. ^ Prasad, Dipendra; Yogananda, C. S. (2000). "A Report on Artin's Holomorphy Conjecture". In Bambah, R. P.; Dumir, V. C.; Hans-Gill, R. J. (eds.). Number Theory (PDF). Birkhäuser Basel. pp. 301–314. doi:10.1007/978-3-0348-7023-8_16. ISBN 978-3-0348-7023-8.
  9. ^ Tunnell, Jerrold B. (1983). "A classical Diophantine problem and modular forms of weight 3/2". Inventiones Mathematicae. 72 (2): 323–334. Bibcode:1983InMat..72..323T. doi:10.1007/BF01389327. hdl:10338.dmlcz/137483. S2CID 121099824.
  10. ^ "List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society". American Mathematical Society. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  11. ^ "Alumni news" (PDF). mudd/math. Vol. 7, no. 1. Harvey Mudd College. 2013. pp. 24–30. Retrieved April 9, 2022.

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