George D. Mostow
Wolf Prize Laureate in Mathematics 2013
George D. Mostow
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Yale University, USA
“for fundamental and pioneering contribution to geometry and Lie group theory”.
George D. Mostow made a fundamental and pioneering contribution to geometry and Lie group theory. His most celebrated accomplishment in this fields is the discovery of the completely new rigidity phenomenon in geometry, the Strong Rigidity Theorems. These theorems are some of the greatest achievements in mathematics in the second half of the 20th century. This established a deep connection between continuous and discrete groups, or equivalently, a remarkable connection between topology and geometry. Mostow’s rigidity methods and techniques opened a floodgate of investigations and results in many related areas of mathematics. Mostow’s emphasis on the “action at infinity” has been developed by many mathematicians in a variety of directions. It had a huge impact in geometric group theory, in the study of Kleinian groups and of low dimensional topology , in work connecting ergodic theory and Lie groups. Mostow’s contribution to mathematics is not limited to strong rigidity theorems. His work on Lie groups and their discrete subgroups which was done during 1948-1965 was very influential. Mostow’s work on examples of nonarithmetic lattices in two and three dimensional complex hyperbolic spaces (partially in collaboration with P. Delinge) is brilliant and lead to many important developments in mathematics. In Mostow’s work one finds a stunning display of a variety of mathematical disciplines. Few mathematicians can compete with the breadth, depth, and originality of his works.