Lucien Szpiro came to the Graduate Center from the National Center of Scientific Research at the University of Paris (Université de Paris-Sud), where he earned his Ph.D. and where he had served as Directeur de Recherches de Classe Exceptionelle (Distinguished Professor) since 1991. Ranked among the world’s leading mathematicians specializing in the fields of commutative algebra, Diophantine geometry, and arithmetic algebraic geometry, he won the 1987 Doistau-Blutel Prize from the Académie des Sciences de Paris “for his work in Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry and for his contribution to G. Faltings’ proof of the Mordell conjecture.” Szpiro introduced, developed, and applied Arakelov’s theory as a refined tool of modern Diophantine geometry. His conjecture about the discriminant of elliptic curves is one of the most striking problems in number theory.
Szpiro has held prestigious visiting positions in the United States, Japan, India, Germany, and Holland, and has won prestigious awards from such granting agencies as the National Science Foundation. Since coming to the Graduate Center in 1999, Szpiro has started new research in algebraic dynamics and has established with Peter Sarnak and Dorian Goldfeld the successful New York Joint Number Theory Seminar, which rotates among New York University, Columbia University, and the Graduate Center.