Lou Kauffman

Poeisis Fellow, 2010-2012

Louis Kauffman has a PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University (1972) and has been teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 1971, with visiting appointments at the University of Michigan, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, Universita di Bologna, Italy, the Institute des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Bures Sur Yvette, France, and others. He is particularly interested in algebraic topology, knot theory and formal diagrammatic systems; he is known for the discovery of state sum models for knot invariants, a two variable knot invariant known as the Kaufman polynomial, and his research in Virtual Knot Theory opened up a new field of inquiry. He has published several books including four on knot theory (by Princeton University Press and World Scientific Press). Kauffman received many awards including the Lester Ford award (1978) of the Mathematical Association of America for expository writing, the 1993 Warren McCulloch Memorial Award from the American Society for Cybernetics and the 1996 award from the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association (for contribution to the understanding of discrete physics). In 2005-2008 he was President of the American Society for Cybernetics. In 2008-2010 he is Polya Lecturer for the Mathematical Association of America. He is founding editor and editor-in-chief of the research Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications, and the editor of the World Scientific Book Series on Knots and Everything.

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