Claude Shannon Professor of Mathematics
Algebraic Geometry, Number Theory
Bjorn Poonen received an A.B. in Mathematics and Physics from Harvard in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics under Kenneth A. Ribet at U. C. Berkeley in 1994. After postdoctoral positions at MSRI and Princeton University, he served on the faculty at U. C. Berkeley before moving to MIT to 2008. Poonen's research focuses on number theory and algebraic geometry; in particular, he is interested in developing methods for determining the rational number solutions to multivariable polynomial equations, but also interested in proving that certain problems are undecidable. He is the founding managing editor of Algebra & Number Theory and serves on the editorial board of several other journals. Prior to coming to MIT, Poonen received the Guggenheim, Packard, Rosenbaum, Simons, and Sloan fellowships, as well as a Miller Professorship. He is also a four-time Putnam Competition winner. In 2011, Poonen received the Chauvenet Prize for his article, "Undecidability in number theory," Notices AMS, vol. 55 (2008). In 2014, he received the MIT School of Science Prize in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2015 Poonen received a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics, and in 2016 he was awarded a Simons Investigatorship. In 2017 he was elected by Society members to the Nominating Committee of the American Mathematical Society, January 2017 to December 2019. In 2018, he will give an invited address at ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2012) and of the American Mathematical Society (2012).