Howard Garland

Einar Hille Professor of Mathematics

Howard GarlandHoward Garland, B.S. University of Chicago, Ph.D. Berkeley: You began your academic career at Yale more than fifty years ago as an instructor, spent time away between 1969 and 1973 at Cornell, Columbia, and Stony Brook, and then returned to Yale as a full professor in 1973. You have become known around the world in the mathematical community for your work on algebraic groups, arbiters of symmetry that control deep mathematical structure across a range of phenomena from number theory to physics. With your invention of p-adic curvature, you showed how geometric ideas could elucidate realms seemingly too abstract for geometry. Not content with finite dimensions, you have shown how geometric and arithmetic ideas could shed new light on infinite dimensional groups, and you have guided younger colleagues to this infinite dimensional realm as the range of your ideas has expanded. Your work has been recognized by invitations to speak at the International Congress of Mathematicians and at many universities worldwide, and you were elected to the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

Along the way, in the Department of Mathematics, you have served as both chair and director of graduate studies. But perhaps your greatest contribution to the department is your student Igor Frenkel, who carries on your tradition and will take the reins as department chair just as you retire. This spring the department sponsored a conference in your honor, at which mathematicians from Hong Kong, Arizona, Alberta, Rutgers, and Yale paid homage to you with talks devoted to the aspects of mathematics that your insights have shaped and continue
to inform.

Those who love mathematics do not stop doing it because they retire. They continue charting the frontiers of human knowledge and devoting themselves to the beauty and elegance of the field they love. We know that your own passion for mathematics remains undimmed by the years, and as you shed your academic duties, we wish you increased pleasure and success engaged in the passionate refinement of your research.

Tribute Editor: Penelope Laurans