Jean Bourgain

Jean Bourgain
Jean Bourgain (vertical crop).jpg
Born(1954-02-28)28 February 1954
Died22 December 2018(2018-12-22) (aged 64)[1]
Bonheiden, Belgium
Alma materVrije Universiteit Brussel
Known forAnalytic number theory
Harmonic analysis
Ergodic theory
Banach spaces
Partial differential equations
AwardsSalem Prize (1983)
Ostrowski Prize (1991)
Fields Medal (1994)
Shaw Prize (2010)
Crafoord Prize (2012)
Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics (2017)
Steele Prize (2018)
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstitute for Advanced Study
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisorFreddy Delbaen
Doctoral studentsJames Colliander
InfluencesLaurent Schwartz
Bernard Maurey
Gilles Pisier
Vitali Milman
InfluencedTerence Tao

Jean, Baron Bourgain (French: [buʁɡɛ̃]; 28 February 1954 – 22 December 2018) was a Belgian mathematician. He was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and, from 1985 until 1995, professor at Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques at Bures-sur-Yvette in France, and since 1994 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey until 2018.[2] He was an or for the Annals of Mathematics. From 2012–2014, he was appointed a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.[3]


Bourgain received his Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1977.

His work is in various areas of mathematical analysis such as the geometry of Banach spaces, harmonic analysis, analytic number theory, combinatorics, ergodic theory, partial differential equations, spectral theory and recently also in group theory. He has been recognised by a number of awards, most notably the Fields Medal in 1994.

In 2000 Bourgain connected the Kakeya problem to arithmetic combinatorics.[4][5]

In 2009 Bourgain was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.[6]

In 2010, he received the Shaw Prize in Mathematics.[7]

In 2012, he and Terence Tao received the Crafoord Prize in Mathematics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.[8]

In 2015, he was made a baron by king Philippe of Belgium.[9]

In 2016, he received the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.[10]

In 2017, he received the 2018 Leroy P. Steele Prizes.[11]


  1. ^ "Death of mathematician Jean Bourgain". The Brussels Times. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. ^ Biography: Jean Bourgain Archived 27 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, University of St Andrews, Scotland
  3. ^ "Jean Bourgain | Department of Mathematics at University of California Berkeley". Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. ^ Bourgain, J. (2000). "Harmonic analysis and combinatorics: How much may they contribute to each other?". Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives. IMU/Amer. Math. Soc. pp. 13–32.
  5. ^ Tao, Terence (March 2001). "From Rotating Needles to Stability of Waves: Emerging Connections between Combinatorics, Analysis and PDE" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 48 (3): 297–303.
  6. ^ Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Many new members elected to the Academy[permanent dead link], press release on 12 February 2009
  7. ^ Shaw Prize Press Release
  8. ^ Crafoord Press Release on 19 January 2012
  9. ^ Jean Bourgain’s Coat of Arms  —Institute for Advanced Study
  10. ^ Breakthrough Prize Press Release
  11. ^ Jean Bourgain to Receive 2018 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement

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