A Celebration of Life 
This page is a celebration of the life of William P. Thurston, Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University.

Bill passed away peacefully at 8PM on Tuesday, August 21, in the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, surrounded by family. His son Dylan wrote this about his contributions to mathematics:

The achievements on Bill's own CV are numerous, well-documented, and well-celebrated. But as mathematicians will tell you over and over again, far more significant is how he revolutionized the way mathematicians work and communicate.

Bill emphasized constantly that the goal of mathematics, and the source of its beauty and utility, is *human understanding*. He aimed to gain and share an intuitive understanding of mathematics, recruiting all human senses -- vision, motion, even touch. As Benson Farb (U. Chicago) says, "He changed our idea of what it means to 'encounter' and 'interact with' a cgeometric object. The geometry that came before almost looks like pure symbol pushing in comparison."

He had a passion for making mathematics accessible and appealing to children and researchers alike. In his course "Geometry and the Imagination", he guided high-school teachers to study the same bicycle tracks that Sherlock Holmes investigated. In 2010, he worked with the fashion designer Issey Miyake on a show inspired by the geometries whose study he pioneered.


The comments section, which is now closed, is a collection of thoughts, stories, and reminiscences about Bill's life.

Some remembrances around the web:

Harry Baik
Richard Brown
Danny Calegari
Nathan Dunfield
Jordan Ellenberg
Jesse Johnson
Justin Lanier
Christian Perfect
David Speyer
Daina Taimina
Terry Tao
Peter Woit

A page of remembrances has also been set up by Bill's family: follow this link.

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