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