Richard Schoen

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Richard Schoen
Richard Schoen.jpeg
Richard Schoen
(photo by George Bergman)
Born (1950-10-23) October 23, 1950 (age 66)
Fort Recovery, Ohio[1]
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
Alma mater Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Leon Simon
Shing-Tung Yau
Doctoral students Hubert Bray
José F. Escobar
Ailana Fraser
Robert Kusner
Mario Micallef
William Minicozzi
André Neves
Known for Differentiable sphere theorem
Schoen–Yau conjecture
Solution of positive mass conjecture
Notable awards Bôcher Memorial Prize (1989)
Wolf Prize (2017)

Richard Melvin Schoen (born October 23, 1950) is an American mathematician. 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.[2] In 2015, he was elected Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.[3] He received the Wolf Prize in Mathematics for 2017, shared with Charles Fefferman.[4]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Richard Melvin Schoen". School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  2. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-07-14.
  3. ^ "American Mathematical Society". American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  4. ^ The Wolf Foundation – "Richard Schoen Winner of Wolf Prize in Mathematics - 2017"

External links[edit]