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David Mumford Ph.D.

National Medal of Science - Mathematics and Computer Science 2009

Mathematician. Algebraic geometry, Vision and Pattern Theory. Pure and Applied math. History and Philosophy of math, Math education. Sailing.

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Mumford Fig1

My PhD advisor, Oscar Zariski. His personality and his life were as extraordinary as his research. To his Carol Parikh's biography, 'The Unreal Life of Oscar Zariski' I added a "Foreword for non-mathematicians" in an attempt to give a non-technical description of what algebraic geometry is all about for lay readers. I wrote his obituary for the National Academy of Science.

Mumford Fig2

My inspiration, Ulf Grenander, at his summer house in Sweden. He was the first to understand that Bayesian inference and graphical models were the best mathematical tools with which to model virtually all cognitive processes.

Mumford Fig3

1968: from left to right, Musili, Seshadri, Narasimhan, Raghunathan and I standing in front of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India. Note the sweaters: the TIFR was heavily air-conditioned.

Mumford Fig4

The Chennai Mathematical Institute, a wonderful lively college founded by Seshadri second from left in previous photo.

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Photo: Courtesy Dr. Mumford

Name: David Mumford
Birth: 11 June 1937 The bridges, Sussex, England
Title: Professor Emeritis
Affiliation: Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Citation: "For his contributions to the field of mathematics, which fundamentally changed algebraic geometry, and for connecting mathematics to other disciplines such as computer vision and neurobiology." Presented by President Barack H. Obama in the East Room of the White House on 17 November 2010."
Mathematics Education
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