Oxford Math Scholar Tenured

Kronheimer, Topology Expert, Turned Down Other Schools

Peter Kronheimer, an Oxford math professor renowned for his work in topology, has accepted a tenure offer from Harvard and will join the math department in the 1995-96 academic year.

"He's one of the best young mathematicians around," said Professor of Mathematics Clifford H. Taubes.

Kronheimer also had offers from Princeton, Berkeley, and Oxford, according to Taubes. "And he chose us, and we're very happy he did," Taubes said.

Kronheimer is famous for his work in four-dimensional space, Taubes said.

"He's best known for his work in trying to unravel the mysteries of four-dimensional spaces--how many are there, and what kinds there are, and understanding the kinds of things you can do when you have four-dimensional spaces," Taubes said.

Perkins Professor of Mathematics David Kazhdan, chair of the department, said that Kronheimer will probably teach graduate students his first semester.

"I'm almost very sure he will teach some graduate courses in topology or differential geometry," Kazhdan said. "I don't think he will teach undergraduates in the first semester."

Kronheimer said he is not sure exactly what classes he will teach and is uncertain when he will begin teaching.

"I hope to be moved in by September and start teaching then, but there is a lot of paperwork to be done before them," he said.

Kronheimer, a British citizen, took undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics at Oxford.

He did research at Princeton's Institute of Advanced Studies and then returned to Oxford, where he became a tutor in Merton College and a university lecturer.

He is currently on leave from that position.

Kronheimer said he is excited to come to Harvard, which he said has one of the best math departments in the world.

"No one in the world of mathematics could fail to be aware it's one of the very best," Kronheimer said.

Taubes said that Kronheimer's arrival will make the department even better.

"I think he'll work in really well here," Taubes said. "I think the students will like him and he'll be a great addition to the department."