Emeritus Institute Professor
Differential Geometry, Partial Differential Equations, Mathematical Physics
Professor Singer received the B.S. from the University of Michigan, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1948 & 1950 (Irving Segal advisor). He came to MIT as a CLE Moore instructor in 1950, subsequently appointed to faculty and visiting appointments at UCLA, Columbia and Princeton. He returned to MIT as professor in 1956, appointed Norbert Wiener Professor 1970-79. In 1979 he went to U.C. Berkeley as Miller Professor, returning to MIT in 1983 as the first John D. MacArthur Professor. He was appointed Institute Professor in 1987.
With Michael Atiyah, Singer proved the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem in 1962, one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century mathematics, bridging widely different branches from analysis to differential geometry and topology. Its further development has paved the way for deeper interactions between mathematics and high-energy physics, of which Singer has continued a leadership role. He has served on numerous scientific committees, including Chair of the Committee of Science & Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, service on the White House Science Council (1982-88), and the Governing Board of the National Research Council (1995-99). A Sloan and twice Guggenheim fellow, Singer received the Bôcher Prize in 1969, the National Medal of Science in 1983, and the Eugene Wigner Medal in 1988. He was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement by the American Mathematics Society in 2000. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in 2002, and was selected for the 2005-06 MIT Killian Faculty Achievement Award, following the Abel Prize in 2004. Professor Singer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Physical Society; Member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences,Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society, and Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.