Michael Freedman

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Michael Freedman
Michael Freedman 2010.jpg
Freedman in 2010
Michael Hartley Freedman

April 21, 1951 (1951-04-21) (age 69)
Alma materPrinceton University
University of California, Berkeley
Known forWork on the Generalized Poincaré conjecture in dimension 4
AwardsSloan Research Fellowship (1980)
MacArthur Fellowship (1984)
Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (1986)
Fields Medal (1986)
National Medal of Science (1987)
Guggenheim Fellowship (1994)
Scientific career
InstitutionsMicrosoft Station Q
UC Santa Barbara
UC San Diego
Institute for Advanced Study
UC Berkeley
Doctoral advisorWilliam Browder
Doctoral studentsIan Agol

Michael Hartley Freedman (born April 21, 1951) is an American mathematician, at Microsoft Station Q, a research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[1] In 1986, he was awarded a Fields Medal for his work on the 4-dimensional generalized Poincaré conjecture. Freedman and Robion Kirby showed that an exotic ℝ4 manifold exists.

Life and career[edit]

Freedman was born in Los Angeles, California, U.S. His father, Benedict Freedman, was an American Jewish aeronautical engineer, musician, writer, and mathematician.[2][3] His mother, Nancy Mars Freedman, performed as an actress and also trained as an artist.[4] His parents cowrote a series of novels together. He entered the University of California, Berkeley and after two semesters dropped out.[5] In the same year he wrote a letter to Ralph Fox, a Princeton professor at the time, and was admitted to graduate school so in 1968 he continued his studies at Princeton University where he received Ph.D. degree in 1973 for his doctoral dissertation titled Codimension-Two Surgery, written under the supervision of William Browder. After graduating, Freedman was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. He held this post from 1973 until 1975, when he became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton. In 1976 he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California San Diego. He spent the year 1980/81 at IAS, returning to UC San Diego, where in 1982 he was promoted to professor. He was appointed the Charles Lee Powell chair of mathematics at UC San Diego in 1985.

Freedman has received numerous other awards and honors including Sloan and Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Mathematical Society.[6] In addition to winning a Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in 1986 in Berkeley, he was an Invited Speaker at the ICM in 1983 in Warsaw[7] and at the ICM in 1998 in Berlin.[8] He currently works at Microsoft Station Q at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where his team is involved in the development of the topological quantum computer.


  • Freedman, Michael Hartley (1982). "The topology of four-dimensional manifolds". Journal of Differential Geometry. 17 (3): 357–453. doi:10.4310/jdg/1214437136. ISSN 0022-040X. MR 0679066.
  • Michael H. Freedman and Frank Quinn, Topology of 4-manifolds, Princeton Mathematical Series, vol 39, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1990. ISBN 0-691-08577-3
  • Curtis, Cynthia L.; Freedman, Michael H.; Hsiang, Wu Chung; Stong, Richard (1996). "A decomposition theorem for h-cobordant smooth simply-connected compact 4-manifolds". Inventiones Mathematicae. 123 (2): 343–348. Bibcode:1996InMat.123..343C. doi:10.1007/s002220050031. MR 1374205.
  • Freedman, Michael H.: Z2-systolic-freedom. Proceedings of the Kirbyfest (Berkeley, California, 1998), 113–123, Geom. Topol. Monogr., 2, Geom. Topol. Publ., Coventry, 1999.
  • Freedman, Michael H.; Meyer, David A.; Luo, Feng: Z2-systolic freedom and quantum codes. Mathematics of quantum computation, 287–320, Comput. Math. Ser., Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, Florida, 2002.


  1. ^ Microsoft Station Q Group at UCSB. (Station Q at the Wayback Machine (archived January 29, 2008))
  2. ^ Long, Burke O. (2008). Planting and Reaping Albright: Politics, Ideology, and Interpreting the Bible. Penn State Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0271039848.
  3. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (March 4, 2012), "Benedict Freedman dies at 92; author and Occidental professor", Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ McLellan, Dennis (August 22, 2010), "Nancy Freedman dies at 90; feminist had long and wide-ranging literary career", Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ https://www.simonsfoundation.org/2013/11/12/michael-freedman/
  6. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-12-29.
  7. ^ Freedman, M. H. (1984). "The disk theorem for four-dimensional manifolds". In Z. Ciesielski; C. Olech (eds.). Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians (August 16–24, 1983, Warsaw). vol. 1. PWN (Warsaw). pp. 647––663. MR 0804721.
  8. ^ Freedman, Michael H. (1998). "Topological views on computational complexity". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. II. pp. 453–464.

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