Marina Ratner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Marina E. Ratner
Marina Ratner.jpeg
Marina Ratner in 1988
Born (1938-10-30)October 30, 1938
Moscow, Russian SFSR
Died July 7, 2017(2017-07-07) (aged 78)
El Cerrito, California
Nationality Russian
Alma mater Moscow State University
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Yakov Sinai

Marina Evseevna Ratner (Russian: Мари́на Евсе́евна Ра́тнер; October 30, 1938 – July 7, 2017[1]) was a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley who worked in ergodic theory.[2] Around 1990, she proved a group of major theorems concerning unipotent flows on homogeneous spaces, known as Ratner's theorems.[3] Ratner was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992,[4] awarded the Ostrowski Prize in 1993 and elected to the National Academy of Sciences the same year. In 1994, she was awarded the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences.[5]

Biographical information[edit]

Born in Moscow, Russian SFSR to a Jewish family, her father was a plant physiologist and mother, a chemist. Ratner's mother was fired from work in the 1940s for writing to her mother in Israel, then considered an enemy of the Soviet state. Ratner gained an interest in mathematics in her fifth grade. She then studied at the Moscow State University in 1956 where she was inspired by A.N. Kolmogorov and his group. Her graduate studies were under Yakov G. Sinai, also a student of Kolmogorov. She emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1971 after obtaining a Ph.D. to Israel and taught at the Hebrew University 1971–1975. She began to work with Rufus Bowen at Berkeley and later emigrated to the United States and became a professor of mathematics at Berkeley.[6] Her work included proofs of conjectures dealing with unipotent flows on quotients of Lie groups made by S. G. Dani and M. S. Raghunathan.[7]


  1. ^ In Memoriam: University of California, Berkeley website.
  2. ^ Larry Riddle, Biography of Marina Ratner
  3. ^ Dave Witte Morris, Ratner's Theorems on Unipotent Flows, ISBN 0-226-53984-9
  4. ^ Membership list, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, retrieved 2015-06-13.
  5. ^ "John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  6. ^ Hartsock, John (1987-12-03). "Soviet refusenik to be released". UPI.
  7. ^ Cook, M.; Gunning, R. C. (2013). Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.