Bio-sketch of Professor David Mumford

Professor Mumford received his AB degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1957 and his PhD degree also in mathematics from Harvard in 1961. He continued at Harvard as instructor, 1961; associate professor, 1963; and professor in 1967. He has held visiting appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), Warwick University, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Science (Bombay), the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, and Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Cambridge). He was Higgins Professor in Mathematics until 1997. He was appointed University Professor at Brown in 1996. He served as president of the International Mathematical Union (1995-1998).

Professor Mumford worked in the area of algebraic geometry up to 1983. In mathematics he is perhaps best known for inventing geometric invariant theory, a key tool in moduli theory, the study of how the geometric structures in algebraic geometry vary. His subsequent studies on the moduli space of curves have been an important tool in string theory. Since 1984 he has been studying the modeling of intelligence in computer vision, pattern theory and neurobiology.

He received the Fields Medal in 1974, the Shaw prize and Wolf Prize in 2008. He was a MacArthur Fellow 1987-1992, and was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1975. In 2010 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. His work in computer vision received the Longuet-Higgins Prize at CVPR 2005 and CVPR2009.