Honoring Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan upon the occasion of his designation as recipient of the 2022 Abel Prize for Mathematics by the Norw...

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Senate Resolution No. 2350


HONORING Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan upon the occasion
of his designation as recipient of the 2022 Abel
Prize for Mathematics by the Norwegian Academy of
Science and Letters

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body that those who
enhance the quality of life in their community and have shown a long and
sustained commitment to the maintenance of high standards in their
profession, certainly have earned the recognition and applause of all
the citizens of this great Empire State; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor
Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan upon the occasion of his designation as
recipient of the 2022 Abel Prize for Mathematics by the Norwegian
Academy of Science and Letters; His Majesty King Harald will officially
present the Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday, May 24,
2022; and

WHEREAS, The Abel Prize is named after Niels Henrik Abel, Norway's
greatest mathematician, who left lasting marks on the mathematical
world; his mathematics have served as a base for a number of major
technological breakthroughs, including the development of the internet;
it was established by the Norwegian Parliament (The Storting) in 2002,
on the 200th Anniversary of Abel's birth; and

WHEREAS, Professor Dennis P. Sullivan earned this prestigious award
for his groundbreaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense,
and in particular its algebraic, geometric and dynamical aspects; he
will be awarded 7.5 million Norwegian kroner, nearly US $860,000, funded
by the Norwegian government; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Dennis Parnell Sullivan is a distinguished professor in
the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics, and the
Albert Einstein Chair in Science (Mathematics) at the CUNY Graduate
Center; and

WHEREAS, This auspicious prize honors brilliant mathematicians who
inspire curiosity and drive imagination; Professor Dennis P. Sullivan
has made outstanding scientific contributions to the field of
mathematics throughout his illustrious career, and has had a positive
impact on the students he has mentored; and

WHEREAS, Throughout his decades-long profession as a mathematician,
Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan has found deep connections between many areas of
mathematics; one of his most important breakthroughs includes a new way
of understanding rational homotopy theory, a subfield of algebraic
topology; topology has been invaluable throughout mathematics and
beyond, with significant applications in fields ranging from physics to
economics to data science; and

WHEREAS, In the late 1970s, Professor Dennis P. Sullivan began to
work on problems in dynamical systems, the study of a point moving in a

geometrical space, a field usually considered far removed from algebraic
topology; the ability of computers to iterate functions beyond what was
humanly possible had created an explosion of interest in this field,
known popularly as "chaos theory," since many of the dynamical systems
exhibited chaotic behavior; among his most important contributions to
this field is the proof of the universality law for period doubling for
a large class of dynamical systems; and

WHEREAS, One of the most accomplished mathematicians of our age, Dr.
Dennis P. Sullivan approaches mathematics with the enthusiasm and
curiosity of a child first realizing the wonders of this incredible
field; he has proudly shared his passion for mathematics with many
generations of both students and colleagues; and

WHEREAS, Among Professor Dennis P. Sullivan's significant results in
topology is his proof of the Adams conjecture, and in dynamical systems,
he proved that rational maps have no wandering domains, solving a
60-year-old conjecture; his insistent probing for fundamental
understanding and his capacity to see analogues between diverse areas of
mathematics, and build bridges between them, has forever changed the
field; and

WHEREAS, Professor Dennis P. Sullivan has been an esteemed member of
the Graduate Center's faculty for more than 40 years; during that time,
he has not only solved problems, he has opened new avenues of research
that scholars will explore for years to come; and

WHEREAS, In 1999, Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan and Moira Chas, associate
professor in the Department of Mathematics, discovered a new invariant
for a manifold based on loops, creating the field of string topology, an
area that has grown rapidly in recent years; and

WHEREAS, Dennis P. Sullivan received his PhD in 1966 from Princeton
University; that same year, he was awarded a NATO Fellowship at Warwick
University in England, after which he earned a Miller Fellowship at the
University of California at Berkeley from 1967-1969 and went to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology as The Sloan Fellow of Mathematics
from 1969-1973; and

WHEREAS, He then spent the 1973-1974 academic year in France as
professeur associe at the University of Paris-Orsay and in 1974 became a
permanent professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques; and

WHEREAS, In 1981, he was appointed to the Albert Einstein Chair in
Science (Mathematics) at the CUNY Graduate Center, a role that continues
to this day, and worked jointly with the Institut des Hautes Etudes
Scientifiques until 1996 when he joined the faculty of the Department of
Mathematics at Stony Brook University; and

WHEREAS, Professor Dennis P. Sullivan was elected as a member of the
United States National Academy of Sciences in 1983, corresponding member
of the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences that same year, member of
the New York Academy of Sciences in 1984, fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences in 1991, corresponding member of the Irish Royal
Society in 2012, and honorary member of the London Mathematical Society
in 2013; furthermore, he served as vice president of the American
Mathematical Society from 1990 until 1993; and

WHEREAS, The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Dr. Dennis
P. Sullivan received the 1970 Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry, the 1981
Elie Cartan Prize in Geometry, the 1994 King Faisal International Prize
for Science, the 1996 Gold Medal of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences,
the 2004 United States National Medal of Science, the 2006 AMS Steele
Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the 2010 Wolf Prize in Mathematics, and
the 2014 Balzan Prize for Mathematics; and

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body that when
individuals of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our
attention, they should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens
of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan upon the occasion of his designation as
recipient of the 2022 Abel Prize for Mathematics by the Norwegian
Academy of Science and Letters; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to Dr. Dennis P. Sullivan.


  • 21 / Apr / 2022
  • 10 / May / 2022
  • 10 / May / 2022

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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