Michael Lacey’s passion for the Mathematics Profession

Michael Thoreau Lacey was born on 26 September 1959. He is an American mathematician who attended the University of Texas and obtained his first degree in 1981. Michael studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and in 1987, under Water Philipp’s direction, received a Ph.D. He based his thesis on Banach spaces, an area of probability. Michael also has worked on harmonic analysis, ergodic theory, and probability.


After earning his Ph.D., Lacey held positions at Louisiana State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is while at the University of North Carolina that he joined forces with Walter Philipp to prove the central limit theorem. From 1989 to 1996, Michael served at Indiana University, and while there, the National Science Foundation (NSF) offered him a postdoctoral fellowship. During his award, Michael started his study of the bilinear Hilbert Transform. In 1996, Michael Lacey, together with Christopher Thiele solved the transform, which was then a conjecture subject for Albert Calderon, a late Argentinian mathematician. Their transform solution earned them the Salem Prize, awarded to young mathematicians who have performed exceptionally well in Fourier series, the primary field of study of Raphael Salem.


Michael T. Lacey went ahead to be a Mathematics Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a position he has held since 1996. He worked with Xiaochun Li, and for their efforts, they received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. The Guggenheim fellowship gives grants to outstanding scholars or those who are exceptionally creative in the art field of study. He joined the American Mathematics Society as a fellow in 2012. Many organizations and individuals have supported his work by issuing grants, among which are The Australian Research Grant from 2015 to 2018, the NSF individual grant amounting to $312,000(2012-2015) and a $ 130,000 grant from the Simons Foundation (2012-2013).


Michael Lacey has served as training grants director that support graduate students, undergraduates and post-doctorates. He has advised scores of undergraduates who joined top graduate programs and mentored over ten postdocs. Lacey’s Ph.D. students have worked in the industry and academic jobs.

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