Selman Akbulut

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Selman Akbulut

Selman Akbulut (born 1949) is a Turkish mathematician and a Professor at Michigan State University. His research is in topology.


In 1975 he earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley as a student of Robion Kirby. In topology, he has worked on handlebody theory, low-dimensional manifolds, symplectic topology, G2 manifolds. In the topology of real-algebraic sets, he and Henry C. King proved that every compact piecewise-linear manifold is a real-algebraic set; they discovered new topological invariants of real-algebraic sets.

He has developed 4-dimensional handlebody techniques, settling conjectures and solving problems about 4-manifolds, such as Zeeman conjecture,[1] Harer-Kas-Kirby conjecture, Scharlemann problem,[2] and Cappell-Shaneson problems.[3][4][5] He constructed an exotic compact 4-manifold (with boundary)[6] from which he discovered "Akbulut corks".[7]

His most recent results concern the 4-dimensional smooth Poincare conjecture.[8] He has supervised 12 Ph.D students as of 2016. He has more than 95 papers and three books published, and several books edited.

He was a visiting scholar several times at the Institute for Advanced Study (in 1975-76, 1980–81, 2002, and 2005).[9]


  1. ^ S. Akbulut, A solution to a conjecture of Zeeman, Topology, vol.30, no.3, (1991), 513-515.
  2. ^ S.Akbulut, Scharlemann's manifold is standard, Ann of Math., 149 (1999) 497-510.
  3. ^ S. Akbulut, Cappell-Shaneson homotopy spheres are standard Ann. of Math., 171 (2010) 2171-2175.
  4. ^ S.Akbulut, Cappell-Shaneson's 4-dimensional s-cobordism, Geometry-Topology, vol.6, (2002), 425-494.
  5. ^ M. Freedman, R. Gompf, S. Morrison, K. Walker, Man and machine thinking about the smooth 4-dimensional Poincaré conjecture. Quantum Topol. 1 (2010), no. 2, 171–208
  6. ^ B. Ozbagci and A.I. Stipsicz. Surgery on contact 3-manifolds and Stein surfaces (p. 14), Springer ISBN 3-540-22944-2
  7. ^ A.Scorpan, The wild world of 4-manifolds (p.90), AMS Pub. ISBN 0-8218-3749-4
  8. ^
  9. ^ Institute for Advanced Study: A Community of Scholars

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