Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov

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Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov
Gromov Mikhail Leonidovich.jpg
Mikhail Gromov in 2009
Born (1943-12-23) 23 December 1943 (age 72)
Boksitogorsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Residence France
Nationality Russian and French
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques
New York University
Alma mater Leningrad State University (PhD)
Doctoral advisor Vladimir Rokhlin
Doctoral students Denis Auroux
Christophe Bavard
François Labourie
Yashar Memarian
Pierre Pansu
Abdelghani Zeghib
Known for Geometry
Notable awards Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (1981)
Wolf Prize (1993)
Kyoto Prize (2002)
Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2004)
Bolyai Prize (2005)
Abel Prize (2009)

Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov (also Mikhael Gromov, Michael Gromov or Mischa Gromov; Russian: Михаи́л Леони́дович Гро́мов; born 23 December 1943), is a French–Russian mathematician known for important contributions in many different areas of mathematics, including geometry, analysis and group theory. He is a permanent member of IHÉS and a Professor of Mathematics at New York University.

Gromov has won several prizes, including the Abel Prize in 2009 "for his revolutionary contributions to geometry".


Mikhail Gromov was born on 23 December 1943 in Boksitogorsk, Soviet Union. His father Leonid Gromov and his Jewish[1] mother Lea Rabinovitz[2][3] were pathologists.[4] Gromov was born during World War II, and his mother, who worked as a medical doctor in the Soviet Army, had to leave the front line in order to give birth to him.[5] When Gromov was nine years old,[6] his mother gave him the book The Enjoyment of Mathematics by Hans Rademacher and Otto Toeplitz, a book that piqued his curiosity and had a great influence on him.[5][7]

Gromov studied mathematics at Leningrad State University where he obtained a Masters degree in 1965, a Doctorate in 1969 and defended his Postdoctoral Thesis in 1973. His thesis advisor was Vladimir Rokhlin.[8]

Gromov married in 1967. In 1970, invited to give a presentation at the International Congress of Mathematicians in France, he was not allowed to leave the USSR. Still, his lecture was published in the conference proceedings.[9]

Disagreeing with the Soviet system, he had been thinking of emigrating since the age of 14. In the early 1970s he ceased publication, hoping that this would help his application to move to Israel.[10][11] He changed his last name to that of his mother.[10] When the request was granted in 1974, he moved directly to New York where a position had been arranged for him at Stony Brook.[9]

In 1981 he left Stony Brook to join the faculty of University of Paris VI and in 1982 he became a permanent professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) where he remains today. At the same time, he has held professorships at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1991 to 1996, and at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 1996.[3] He adopted French citizenship in 1992.[12]


Gromov's style of geometry features a "coarse" or "soft" viewpoint, often analyzing asymptotic or large-scale properties.

His impact has been felt most heavily in geometric group theory, where he characterized groups of polynomial growth and created, along with Eliyahu Rips, the notion of hyperbolic group; symplectic topology, where he introduced pseudoholomorphic curves, and in Riemannian geometry. His work, however, has delved deeply into analysis and algebra, where he will often formulate a problem in "geometric" terms. For example, his homotopy principle (h-principle) on differential relations is the basis for a geometric theory of partial differential equations.

Gromov is also interested in mathematical biology.[13]

Prizes and honors[edit]



See also[edit]

Books and other publications[edit]

  • Gromov, M. Hyperbolic manifolds, groups and actions. Riemann surfaces and related topics: Proceedings of the 1978 Stony Brook Conference (State Univ. New York, Stony Brook, N.Y., 1978), pp. 183–213, Ann. of Math. Stud., 97, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N.J., 1981.
  • Gromov, M. Hyperbolic groups. Essays in group theory, 75–263, Math. Sci. Res. Inst. Publ., 8, Springer, New York, 1987.
  • Gromov, M. Asymptotic invariants of infinite groups. Geometric group theory, Vol. 2 (Sussex, 1991), 1–295, London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., 182, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1993.[17]
  • Gromov, Misha: Metric structures for Riemannian and non-Riemannian spaces. Based on the 1981 French original. With appendices by M. Katz, P. Pansu and S. Semmes. Translated from the French by Sean Michael Bates. Progress in Mathematics, 152. Birkhäuser Boston, Inc., Boston, MA, 1999. xx+585 pp. ISBN 0-8176-3898-9[18]
  • Gromov, M. Pseudoholomorphic curves in symplectic manifolds. Invent. Math. 82 (1985), no. 2, 307–347.
  • Gromov, Mikhael Groups of polynomial growth and expanding maps. Inst. Hautes Études Sci. Publ. Math. No. 53 (1981), 53–73.
  • Gromov, Mikhael Structures métriques pour les variétés riemanniennes. (French) [Metric structures for Riemann manifolds] Edited by J. Lafontaine and P. Pansu. Textes Mathématiques [Mathematical Texts], 1. CEDIC, Paris, 1981. iv+152 pp. ISBN 2-7124-0714-8
  • Gromov, Mikhael: Partial differential relations. Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete (3) [Results in Mathematics and Related Areas (3)], 9. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1986. x+363 pp. ISBN 0-387-12177-3[19]
  • Ballmann, Werner; Gromov, Mikhael; Schroeder, Viktor: Manifolds of nonpositive curvature. Progress in Mathematics, 61. Birkhäuser Boston, Inc., Boston, MA, 1985. vi+263 pp. ISBN 0-8176-3181-X[20]
  • Gromov, Mikhael: Carnot–Carathéodory spaces seen from within. Sub-Riemannian geometry, 79–323, Progr. Math., 144, Birkhäuser, Basel, 1996.
  • Gromov, Michael: Volume and bounded cohomology. Inst. Hautes Études Sci. Publ. Math. No. 56 (1982), 5–99 (1983).


  1. ^ Masha Gessen (2011). Perfect Rigour: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of a Lifetime. Icon Books Ltd. 
  2. ^ The International Who's Who, 1997–98. Europa Publications. 1997. p. 591. ISBN 978-1-85743-022-6. 
  3. ^ a b O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
  4. ^ Gromov, Mikhail. "A Few Recollections", in Helge Holden; Ragni Piene (3 February 2014). The Abel Prize 2008–2012. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 129–137. ISBN 978-3-642-39448-5.  (also available on Gromov's homepage: link)
  5. ^ a b Newsletter of the European Mathematical Society, No. 73, September 2009, p. 19
  6. ^ Le Monde – Mikhaïl Gromov, le génie qui venait du froid (in French)
  7. ^ Note: This book was translated to English as The Enjoyment of Mathematics, the original title in German is Von Zahlen und Figuren.
  8. ^ http://cims.nyu.edu/newsletters/Spring2009.pdf
  9. ^ a b "Science Lives: Mikhail Gromov". Simons Foundation. 
  10. ^ a b Foucart, Stéphane (2009-03-26). "Mikhaïl Gromov, le génie qui venait du froid". Le Monde.fr (in French). ISSN 1950-6244. 
  11. ^ Ripka, Georges (2002-01-01). Vivre savant sous le communisme (in French). Belin. ISBN 9782701130538. 
  12. ^ "Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov". abelprize.no. 
  13. ^ "Interview with Mikhail Gromov" (PDF), Notices of the AMS, 57 (3): 391–403, March 2010 .
  14. ^ *Gromov Receives Nemmers Prize
  15. ^ Abel Prize for 2009, Laureates 2009
  16. ^ Professor Mikhail Gromov ForMemRS | Royal Society
  17. ^ Toledo, Domingo (1996). "Review: Geometric group theory, Vol. 2: Asymptotic invariants of infinite groups, by M. Gromov" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 33 (3): 395–398. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-96-00669-6. 
  18. ^ Grove, Karsten (2001). "Review: Metric structures for Riemannian and non-Riemannian spaces, by M. Gromov" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 38 (3): 353–363. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-01-00904-1. 
  19. ^ McDuff, Dusa (1988). "Review: Partial differential relations, by Mikhael Gromov" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 18 (2): 214–220. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1988-15654-6. 
  20. ^ Heintze, Ernst (1987). "Review: Manifolds of nonpositive curvature, by W. Ballmann, M. Gromov & V. Schroeder" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 17 (2): 376–380. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1987-15603-5. 


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