Jonathan Pila

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Jonathan Pila
Professor Jonathan S. Pila FRS.jpg
Jonathan Pila in 2015, portrait from the Royal Society
Born Jonathan Solomon Pila
(1962-07-28) July 28, 1962 (age 54)[1]
Melbourne, Australia
Institutions University of Oxford
Alma mater
Thesis Frobenius maps of Abelian varieties and finding roots of unity in finite fields (1988)
Doctoral advisor Peter Sarnak[2]
Doctoral students
  • Lee Butler
  • Adam Harris
  • Andrew Potter[2]
Notable awards

Jonathan Solomon Pila (born 1962)[1] FRS[3] is an Australian mathematician at the University of Oxford.


Pila earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Melbourne in 1984. He was awarded a PhD from Stanford University in 1988, for research supervised by Peter Sarnak.[2] His dissertation was entitled "Frobenius Maps of Abelian Varieties and Finding Roots of Unity in Finite Fields". In 2010 he received an MA from Oxford.[4]

Career and research[edit]

Pila's research interests lie in number theory and model theory. A focus has been applying the theory of o-minimality to Diophantine problems. This work began with an early paper with Enrico Bombieri, and developed through collaborations with Alex Wilkie and Umberto Zaniier. The techniques obtained have led to advances in Diophantine problems, including Pila's unconditional proof of the André–Oort conjecture for powers of the modular curve.[3]

Pila has held posts at Columbia University, McGill University, the University of Bristol and (as a visiting member) the Institute for Advanced Study. Pila also took a substantial break from professional mathematics to work in his family’s manufacturing business.[3]

Pila has been the Editor of Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, and of Algebra and Number Theory.[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

Pila was awarded the Clay Research Award in 2011 for his resolution of the André–Oort conjecture in the case of products of modular curves.[4][5] In June 2011, he was awarded the Senior Whitehead Prize by the London Mathematical Society.[6] This prize is "awarded in recognition of work in and influence on and service to mathematics; or lecturing gifts."[6] Specifically, the citation recognized "his startling recent work on the Andre-Oort and Manin-Mumford conjectures. The approach he and his collaborators have developed, which combines analytic ideas with model theory, is entirely new and shows great promise for further applications."[6]

In addition to the Clay and London Mathematical Society awards, he has also received the Cahit Arf Lecture 2011,the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2008-2010.[4] and the Karp Prize 2013.[7] Pila was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.[3]


  1. ^ a b PILA, Dr Jonathan Solomon. Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d Jonathan Pila at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b c d e "Professor Jonathan Pila FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived September 25, 2015)‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 

  4. ^ a b c d "Jonathan Pila". University of Oxford, Mathematical Institute. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ a b c "London Mathematical Society Prizes 2011" (pdf) (Press release). London Mathematical Society. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Prizes and Awards". Association of Symbolic Logic. Retrieved 27 August 2015.