Press Release: CUNY Graduate Center Names Victor Kolyvagin Mina Rees Chair in Math

Victor A. Kolyvagin has been appointed the first Mina Rees Chair in Mathematics at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Professor Kolyvagin, formerly J. J. Sylvester Professor of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, is best known for a series of papers that fundamentally transformed number theory. The late Mina Rees, herself a prominent mathematician, was founding president of The Graduate Center. The appointment is being officially announced on the 100th anniversary of her birth, August 2, 2002.

Professor Kolyvagin is known for a series of papers culminating in one on ³Euler Systems² that is considered an original, fundamental insight, and which played an important role in Andrew Wiles¹ path to his famous proof of Fermat¹s last theorem. Among the most significant discoveries in number theory in the past quarter century, Professor Kolyvagin¹s Euler Systems work continues to be used in the ongoing development of the field and has lead to breakthroughs in what are known to mathematicians as the Birch and Swinnerton Dyer conjecture for elliptical curves and Iwasawa¹s conjecture for cyclotomic fields, along with other significant applications. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Moscow State University in 1981 and in 1990 he received the USSR Academy of Science¹s Chebyshev Prize. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1994, he was at the Steclov Mathematical Institute in Moscow.

Dr. Rees was appointed the City University's first Dean of Graduate Studies in 1961, when the doctoral programs were established. In 1969, she became the first president of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, serving until her retirement in September 1972. A distinguished mathematician and educator, she was acclaimed for the important role she played in mobilizing the resources of modern mathematics for the national defense during World War II, for helping to direct the enormous growth and diversification of mathematical studies after the war, for her influence in initiating federal government support for the development of the earliest computers, for helping to shape national policy for all basic sciences and for graduate education, and for guiding The Graduate Center¹s quick rise to national prominence. She died in 1997.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, The Graduate Center draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City.

Established in 1961, The Graduate Center has grown to an enrollment of about 3,500 students in 31 doctoral programs and six master's degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. The Graduate Center also houses 28 research centers and institutes, administers the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, and offers a wide range of continuing education and cultural programs of interest to the general public.

According to a recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions, nearly a quarter are among the top ten when compared to publicly supported institutions alone, and more than half are among the top five programs at publicly supported institutions in the northeast.

Submitted on: AUG 1, 2002

Category: Mathematics, Press Room