James Greig Arthur Pure and Applied Mathematics

Mathematician; internationally recognized for his outstanding advances in unifying the mathematical fields of algebra and analysis

The Story

In 1999, Arthur became the first mathematician to win the Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. His work has furthered understanding of a revolutionary and fundamental organizing principle in mathematics previously developed by Canadian-born mathematician Robert Langlands. Pursuit of this understanding has become a major goal of mathematicians world-wide. Arthur’s “trace formula”, linking explicit geometric information with the elusive spectral information proposed by Langlands, has become an important tool in this search.

Following his completion of the trace formula in the early 1980’s, Arthur created a mathematical concept now known as “Arthur packets.” Arthur packets enable mathematicians to resolve previously inexplicable anomalies on the spectral information side of the trace formula.

Arthur’s work at the forefront of international research has helped establish the University of Toronto as a major centre for mathematics.

Sources: U of T's The Bulletin, May 10, 1999; NSERC News; Photo, International Mathematics Union website.

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The Person

May 18, 1944
Hamilton, Ontario
University Professor
Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto
  • BSc, University of Toronto, 1966
  • MSc, University of Toronto, 1967
  • PhD, Yale University, 1970
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1980
  • E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, 1982
  • Synge Award (RSC), 1987
  • Fellow, Royal Society of London, 1992
  • Henry Marshall Tory Medal (RSC), 1997
  • CRM-Fields Institute Prize in Mathematics, 1997
  • Canada Gold Medal for Science & Engineering, 1999
Last Updated
September 17, 2015

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