MacArthur Fellows Program

Michael H. Freedman

Mathematician | Class of November 1984

La Jolla, California
33 at time of award
Published November 1, 1984

About Michael's Work

Michael Freedman works in areas of mathematics open to geometrical reasoning.

His studies of differential and combinatorial geometry, topology, dynamics, and the theory of distortion have generated interest among mathematicians and physicists and have ranged from the abstract to the highly concrete, the latter facilitating discussion with nonspecialists.  In 1981, Freedman proved the Poincaré conjecture for four dimensions and, with Simon Donaldson, established the existence of at least two four-dimensional universes.  He extended his theory in 1983 to spaces whose universal cover has polynomial volume growth.  Freedman has expanded his interests to applied mathematics and mathematical physics.  He works on fundamental issues in theoretical computer science, focusing on nonstandard models of computation. 


Freedman was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley (1973-1975) prior to becoming a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (1975-76 and 1980-81).  Freedman has been a professor at the University of California, San Diego, since 1976, and became the Charles Lee Powell Professor of Mathematics in 1985.  Since 1997, he has been a senior research scientist in the theory group at Microsoft Research. 

Freedman received a Ph.D. (1973) from Princeton University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Michael H. Freedman
More Fellows

View All 1984 Fellows

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.

Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.

The privacy of your data is important to us. We've updated our privacy policies in response to General Data Protection Regulation.