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05/01/2014 16:06:42

Markovic Elected to Great Britain's Royal Society

Vladimir Markovic, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics at Caltech, has been named a fellow of Great Britain's Royal Society. He is one of 50 new fellows and 10 foreign members elected in 2014. Markovic's election brings to seven the number of fellows and foreign members of the Royal Society currently on the Caltech faculty.

Membership in the Royal Society is bestowed each year on a small number of the world's scientists. The oldest scientific academy in existence, the Royal Society was established in 1660 under the patronage of King Charles II for the purpose of "improving natural knowledge," and it helped usher in the age of modern science. Today, the society seeks to promote science leaders who champion innovation for the benefit of humanity and the planet.

Markovic studies the shapes and structures of mathematical spaces called manifolds. A line is a one-dimensional manifold while a plane would be two-dimensional. In its citation for Markovic, the Royal Society wrote, "Markovic is a world leader in the area of quasiconformal homeomorphisms and low dimensional topology and geometry. He has solved many famous and difficult problems. With Jeremy Kahn, he proved William Thurston's key conjecture that every closed hyperbolic 3-manifold contains an almost geodesic immersed surface."

In 2004, Markovic received awards recognizing his early career achievements from the London Mathematical Society and the Leverhulme Trust. In 2012, he was awarded the Clay Research Award. Earlier this year, he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematics in Seoul, South Korea.

Born in Germany, Markovic earned a BSc and PhD from the University of Belgrade in Serbia in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Before joining the Caltech faculty as a professor in 2011, he was an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, an associate professor at SUNY Stony Brook, and a professor at the University of Warwick. He was named Caltech's John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics in 2013.

 Markovic is currently on leave, teaching at the University of Cambridge.

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier