Professor of Mathematics
Algebra, Mathematical Physics
Professor Victor Kac received his A.B. in 1965 and his PhD in 1968 from Moscow State University. Ernest Vinberg was his scientific advisor. Professor Kac taught at the Moscow Institute of Electronic Machine Building in 1968-1976, emigrating to the US and joining MIT mathematics faculty in 1977 (professor 1981).
The research of Professor Kac primarily concerns representation theory and mathematical physics. His work on Kac-Moody algebras and on Lie superalgebras has been instrumental in the development of quantum field theory, string theory and the theory of integrable systems. He published 5 books and over 250 articles in mathematics and physics journals.
A prior Sloan and Guggenheim fellow, Professor Kac received the medal of the College de France (1981), and the Eugene Wigner medal (1994), "in recognition of work on affine Lie algebras that has had wide influence in theoretical physics". He received a number of distinguished research appointments: the Chaire Condorcet at Ecole Normale Superieure (1998), the Sackler Fellowship, IHES (1999), the Simons Research Visiting Professorship, MSRI (2002), and the Sarojini Damadaran Fellowship, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (2003). In 2015, Professor Kac was awarded the Steele Prize for Llifetime Achievement of the AMS. He received two Simons Fellowships, in 2012 and 2019.
Professor Kac was a plenary speaker at the AMS centennial conference in 1988 and at the ICM in 2002. He is an honorary member of the Moscow Mathematical Society (1998), fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), member of the National Academy of Sciences (2013), and member of the National Italian Academy, Accademia dei Lincei (2019).