William Thurston

William Thurston
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Mathematics


Web Site


Contact Information

Office:  533 Malott Hall
Phone:  (607) 255-2334
Fax:  (607) 255-7149
Email:  wpt@math.cornell.edu

Bill Thurston passed away on Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Ph.D. (1972) University of California at Berkeley

Research Area: Topology

Bill Thurston is a topologist, though his work impinges on many other areas of mathematics. He has discovered unexpected links between topology, hyperbolic geometry, and complex analysis.

Highlights of his career include his classification of foliations of codimension greater than one, his classification of surface automorphisms, his hyperbolization theorem in three-dimensional topology, and the theories of automatic groups and confoliations. Thurston has also made fundamental contributions to the theory of symplectic and contact manifolds, dynamics of surface diffeomorphisms, and the combinatorics of rational maps.

His current research includes random 3-manifolds and relations of knot theory to computational complexity. His main interest remains his geometrization conjecture, a far-reaching proposed generalization of his hyperpolization theorem.

Selected Publications

Three-dimensional manifolds, Kleinian groups and hyperbolic geometry, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 6 (1982), 357–381.

Hyperbolic structures on 3-manifolds, I. Deformation of acylindrical manifolds, Ann. of Math. 124 (1986), 203–246.

Word Processing in Groups (with D. B. A. Epstein, J. W. Cannon, D. F. Holt, S. V. F. Levy, and M. S. Paterson), Jones and Bartlet Publishers, Boston, MA, 1992.

Three-Dimensional Geometry and Topology, Princeton Mathematical Series 35, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1997.

Confoliations (with Y. Eliashberg), AMS, Providence, RI, 1998.

Last modified: August 27, 2012