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Charles Louis Fefferman (born April 18, 1949 in Silver Spring, Maryland to Jewish parents, is an American mathematician at Princeton University. His primary field of research is mathematical analysis.

A child prodigy, Fefferman entered college by twelve and had written his first scientific paper by the age of 15 in German. After receiving his bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics at the age of 17 from the University of Maryland and a PhD in mathematics at 20 from Princeton University under Elias Stein, Fefferman received full professorship at the University of Chicago at the age of 22. This made him the youngest full professor ever appointed in the United States. At 24, he returned to Princeton to assume a full professorship there — a position he still holds. He won the Alan T. Waterman Award in 1976 (the first mathematician to get the award) and the Fields medal in 1978 for his work in mathematical analysis. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1979. He was appointed the Herbert Jones Professor at Princeton in 1984.

In addition to the above, his honors include the Salem Prize, the Bôcher Prize, and the Bergman Prize, as well as election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fefferman contributed several innovations that revised the study of multidimensional complex analysis by finding correct generalisations of classical low-dimensional results. Fefferman's work on partial differential equations, Fourier analysis, in particular convergence, multipliers, divergence, singular integrals and Hardy spaces earned him a Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Helsinki in 1978.

Fefferman likes to "lie down on the sofa for hours at a stretch thinking intently about shapes, relationships and change -- rarely about numbers as such." He explores idea after idea in his mind, discarding most. When a concept finally seems promising, he's ready to try it out on paper. In addition, Fefferman tends not to focus too narrowly on a special problem, but to view it in a larger context and attack it on a broad front. The real power of his approach, and one reason for his remarkable success with difficult problems, is that he sees connections in diverse branches of mathematics that others don't.

His early work included a study of the asymptotics of the Bergman kernel off the boundaries of pseudoconvex domains in \mathbb C^n. His research to date includes a vast number of key results in diverse areas: mathematical physics, harmonic analysis, fluid dynamics, neural networks, geometry, mathematical finance and spectral analysis, amongst others.


Charles Fefferman and his wife Julie have two daughters, Nina and Lainie. Lainie Fefferman is a nationally recognized composer, taught math at Saint Ann's School (New York City) and holds a degree in music from Yale University. She has an interest in Middle Eastern music[1]. Nina is a computational biologist whose research focuses on applying mathematical models to complex biological systems [2]. Charles Fefferman's brother, Robert Fefferman, is also an accomplished mathematician and currently a Dean at the University of Chicago.

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Charles Fefferman", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .
* Charles Fefferman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
* Charles Fefferman Curriculum Vitae


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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