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Utah Mathematician Appointed President to Lead CMI

The following news release from the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass., announces the selection of University of Utah mathematician James Carlson as the institute’s new president, effective in August.

Carlson, who served as the U’s mathematics department chair during 1995-2002, says he will retain his faculty position at the University of Utah, but on a quarter-time basis for the next three years. His primary duties in Utah will be to continue running the Summer Mathematics Program for High School Students.

Media wishing to interview Carlson may reach him on his cellular phone at (801) 808-8049.

Clay Mathematics Institute


April 24, 2003 (Cambridge, MA) – The Directors of the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) are pleased to announce the appointment of James A. Carlson, mathematics professor at the University of Utah, as CMI’s second president, effective August 2003. As president, Carlson will lead the research activities of the Institute, develop programs in Cambridge and elsewhere, and liaison with leading mathematicians worldwide.

Carlson said, “through its ambitious research program and initiatives, CMI encourages the development and dissemination of mathematics at the highest level. The Institute’s support of talented individuals in crucial stages of their creative work plays a key role in increasing mathematical knowledge. The accomplishments of CMI in the four years since its inception have been extraordinary, and I feel honored to serve in advancing its goals.”

“We are very pleased that Professor Carlson has agreed to lead CMI in its mission,” remarks Andrew Wiles, chairman of the CMI search committee. “Besides being a distinguished research mathematician he is also an energetic educator with a broad knowledge of mathematics who has shown exceptional leadership skills as a founding member of the IAS (Institute for Advanced Study)/Park City, Utah and of its high school teacher summer program. He understands how to work collaboratively with other people both inside and outside of academia. All these qualities will make him a superb ambassador for mathematics.” Other members of the search committee were James Arthur, Brian Conrey, David Eisenbud, Philip Griffiths, Joe Harris and David Vogan.

Prior to joining the mathematics department at the University of Utah in 1975, Carlson held positions of assistant professor at Stanford University (1971-73) and Brandeis University (1973-75). At Utah he served as department chair from 1995 to 2002, where he led the development of new programs to strengthen undergraduate education in mathematics and to enrich the experience of talented high school students.

Carlson’s research interests span the areas of analysis, complex geometry and topology. He has written numerous research papers and books; including the Prentice Hall text book Multivariable Mathematics with Maple: linear algebra, vector calculus and differential equations, which he coauthored with Jennifer Johnson. Professor Carlson received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 1971.

About the Clay Mathematics Institute

The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) is a private, non-profit foundation, dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge. CMI attempts to further the beauty, power and universality of mathematical thought through a series of programs including creation of new mathematical knowledge, dissemination of mathematical insight, inspiration of talented students, recognition of extraordinary mathematical achievement, and celebration of the solution of specific mathematical problems. To learn more about CMI, please visit