MacArthur Fellows Program

David Kazhdan

Mathematician | Class of 1990

Cambridge, Massachusetts
44 at time of award
Published August 1, 1990

About David's Work

David Kazhdan is a mathematician known for his contributions to geometry, number theory, and mathematical physics.

Kazhdan is concerned with the different ways symmetry occurs in nature and mathematics and his research focuses on algebraic aspects of analysis and geometric, representation theory.  His ideas have influenced work in the areas of automorphic representations, differential geometry, differential equations, representations of finite groups, and number theory.  His most celebrated result, the Kazhdan-Lusztig conjecture, showed that most of the fundamental invariants of representation theory are really invariants of intersection cohomology. He is co-editor of Quantum Fields and Strings: A Course for Mathematicians (1999), and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.


Kazhdan was a researcher in the Laboratory of Mathematical Methods in Biology at Moscow State University (1969-1975).  He emigrated from Russia to the United States in 1975, where he became a visiting professor of mathematics at Harvard University (1975-1977).  He became a professor at Harvard in 1977, where he is now a professor emeritus of mathematics.  Kazhdan is also a professor at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Kazhdan received a diploma (1967) and a Kandidat Degree (1969) from Moscow State University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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