Probability and Mathematical Physics
Scott Sheffield is the Leighton Faculty Professor of Mathematics as of July 2017. He joined the MIT faculty as Professor in 2008, following a faculty appointments at the Courant Institute at NYU. He received a PhD in mathematics from Stanford University in 2003 under the supervision of Amir Dembo, and completed the AB and AM degrees in mathematics from Harvard in 1998.
Sheffield is a probability theorist, working on geometrical questions that arise in such areas as statistical physics, game theory and metric spaces, as well as long-standing problems in percolation theory and the theory of random surfaces.
A Sloan fellow and NSF Faculty CAREER awardee, Sheffield received the 2006 Rollo Davidson award for work on spatial models of probability theory and especially their relationship to stochastic (Schramm) Loewner evolutions. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2009. In 2010 Sheffield gave an Invited Address (Probability and Statistics section) at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM);
In 2011 he was selected for the Line and Michel Loeve International Prize in Probability, awarded by U.C. Berkeley every two years, "to recognize outstanding contributions by researchers in probability who are under 45 years old." In 2014 he was awarded a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. In 2016, Quanta Magazine featured Sheffield's comprehensive work on random two-dimensional geometric surfaces. He also received an Aisenstadt Chair at the Center for Mathematical Research, University of Montreal for September 2016. In 2017 he was elected by Society members to the Editorial Board Committee of the American Mathematical Society, February 2017 to January 2020.
In 2017 he received the Clay Research Award (with Jason Miller, former Schramm Fellow), "in recognition of their groundbreaking and conceptually novel work on the geometry of Gaussian free field and its application to the solution of open problems in the theory of two-dimensional random structures."
In 2021, Sheffield was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2022 Sheffield gave a Plenary Address at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). In 2023 Sheffield received the Leonard Eisenbud Prize "for works on random two-dimensional geometries, and in particular on Liouville Quantum Gravity" jointly with Jason Miller. Later in 2023 Sheffield received the Frontiers of Science Award, also joint with Jason Miller, for the paper "Liouville quantum gravity and the Brownian map I: the QLE(8/3,0) metric."