Richard Schoen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Richard Schoen
Richard Schoen.jpeg
Richard Schoen in 1976
(photo by George Bergman)
Born (1950-10-23) October 23, 1950 (age 68)
Alma materStanford University
Known forDifferentiable sphere theorem
Schoen–Yau conjecture
Solution of positive mass conjecture
AwardsBôcher Memorial Prize (1989)
Wolf Prize (2017)
Heinz Hopf Prize (2017)
Lobachevsky Prize (2017)[2]
Rolf Schock Prize (2017)[3]
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
Doctoral advisorLeon Simon
Shing-Tung Yau
Doctoral studentsHubert Bray
José F. Escobar
Ailana Fraser
William Minicozzi
André Neves

Richard Melvin Schoen (born October 23, 1950) is an American mathematician known for his work in differential geometry.

Born in Celina, Ohio, and a 1968 graduate of Fort Recovery High School, he received his B.S. from the University of Dayton in mathematics. He then received his PhD in 1977 from Stanford University and is currently an Excellence in Teaching Chair at the University of California, Irvine. His surname is pronounced "Shane," perhaps as a reflection of the regional dialect spoken by some of his German ancestors.


Schoen has investigated the use of analytic techniques in global differential geometry. In 1979, together with his former doctoral supervisor, Shing-Tung Yau, he proved the fundamental positive energy theorem in general relativity. In 1983, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 1984, he obtained a complete solution to the Yamabe problem on compact manifolds. This work combined new techniques with ideas developed in earlier work with Yau, and partial results by Thierry Aubin and Neil Trudinger. The resulting theorem asserts that any Riemannian metric on a closed manifold may be conformally rescaled (that is, multiplied by a suitable positive function) so as to produce a metric of constant scalar curvature. In 2007, Simon Brendle and Richard Schoen proved the differentiable sphere theorem, a fundamental result in the study of manifolds of positive sectional curvature. He has also made fundamental contributions to the regularity theory of minimal surfaces and harmonic maps.

Awards and honors[edit]

For his work on the Yamabe problem, Schoen was awarded the Bôcher Memorial Prize in 1989. He joined the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1991, and won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[4] In 2015, he was elected Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.[5] He received the Wolf Prize in Mathematics for 2017, shared with Charles Fefferman.[6]

Selected publications[edit]


External links[edit]