Paul Larson, professor of mathematics, Miami's Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year for 2014 (photo by Scott Kissell).
Paul Larson, professor of mathematics, has been named Miami University's Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year for 2014.
Larson "is an outstanding scholar in logic and set theory. Miami is fortunate to have such a world-class researcher in the mathematics department," his nominators said.
He is recognized as one of the top two experts in the world on Pmax forcing, a powerful method of exhibiting models of set theory for special purposes.
Larson’s list of articles under preparation is "simply amazing – very few other researchers could work on this many projects in mathematics at one time," his nominators said.
Less than half of his publications are single authored – "he seems to have an insatiable appetite for working with others and trying to apply his techniques and knowledge to other questions."
He has applied set-theoretic techniques and infinite combinatorics to solve other problems in topology, algebra and voting-game theory, although problems in logic and set-theory remain his major focus. He and a co-author announced the solution of a 50-year-old problem in set-theoretic topology known as "Katetov's Problem" in 2001.
Larson's international stature in the field of logic and set theory is evidenced by his appearances as an invited speaker at nearly 40 national and international conferences.
His work has also been recognized by Miami's Distinguished Scholar Award for a junior faculty member in 2008.
He has received NSF funding for summer research support annually since he joined Miami in 2003, after postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Paris VII, Kobe University and the University of Toronto. He also served in visiting positions at the Mittag-Leffler Institute, the Fields Institute and the University of Sao Paulo.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1992 and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998.
Sigma Xi is an international scientific and research honor society supporting original work in science and technology.