Science Faculty Spotlight: Jason Behrstock

February 8, 2021

Jason Behrstock

Jason Behrstock is a mathematician who actively works in the areas of topology, geometry, and probabilistic combinatorics, with a special emphasis on how geometric group theory ties these areas together. Behrstock has made a number of celebrated contributions to the study of: quasi-isometric rigidity; the mapping class group; 3-dimensional manifolds; and, most recently, the introduction and foundational development of a theory of hierarchically hyperbolic spaces, which provides a unified treatment of several formerly disparate areas and which has already been used to resolve several long-standing conjectures about mapping class groups, Teichmuller space, Coxeter groups, and elsewhere.

Behrstock's research has been acknowledged with a number of awards including: a Simons Fellowship in 2014; induction into the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society in 2012; an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 2010; the Feliks Gross Endowment Award, by the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences, in 2009; and numerous research and conference grants from the National Science Foundation.

Behrstock received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook.  Before coming to CUNY, he spent time as a postdoc at Barnard College, the University of Utah, and Columbia University. Behrstock joined the Lehman College faculty in 2008. Also, since 2008 he has been an active member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center where he organizes the weekly CUNY Geometry & Topology seminar, supervises a number of graduate students, and regularly hosts domestic and international visitors. Recently, three of his graduate students received the GC's highly competitive Mina Rees Dissertation Fellowship in the Sciences.

In addition to the time he spends as an academic and as the father of two teenagers, Behrstock is involved in advocacy on behalf of people with diabetes and access to education for children with disabilities. Behrstock is also an avid rock climber and cyclist.