November 2, 2021

László Erdős becomes Fellow of the American Mathematical Society

IST Austria professor is honored for his mathematical research on disordered quantum systems

Mathematician László Erdős receives the Erwin Schrödinger Prize. © IST Austria
New Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. Theoretician László Erdős is designated for his contributions to disordered quantum systems. © IST Austria

Forty-five international mathematicians have been named Fellows of the prestigious American Mathematical Society (AMS) for 2022. Amongst them is professor László Erdős, whose group at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria investigates the fundamental mathematics of random matrices and disordered quantum systems.

IST Austria professor László Erdős has been designated Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for his “contributions to disordered quantum systems, in particular the Wigner-Dyson-Metha universality conjecture for Wigner matrices”. With 30,000 members and 570 institutions, the AMS is regarded the most important mathematics society in the world. Typically, the majority of Fellows is based in the United States. “Especially, since I left the US eighteen years ago, it is a great honor to be elected member of the most renowned community of the society,” says Erdős. His responsibility as a Fellow comprises advising the president and the council of the AMS on public matters and initiatives concerning mathematical education and research. 

A Lifetime of Curiosity

László Erdős, mathematics alumni from the Lorand Eötvös University in Budapest, received his PhD from Princeton University. Already during his postdocs at the ETH Zurich and the Courant Institute of the New York University he investigated fundamental properties of disordered systems. Professorships at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the LMU Munich followed. The work of his groups paved the way for the theory’s broad application, which include the calculation of energy levels of heavy atomic nuclei, telecommunications, and the analysis of big data statistics. Since 2013, he is professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria). “This is also a success of the IST practice to regularly nominate eligible colleagues,” credits the new Fellow his colleagues. “Our external award committee is responsible for that and it is doing a great job! For getting any award, the first step is being nominated.” Earlier this year, Erdős already received the Erwin Schrödinger-Prize from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and earned one of the highly competitive grants of the European Research Council (ERC).

The Activities of the American Mathematical Society

The AMS serves as network for mathematicians around the world. It has well-established journals and prestigious prizes and organizes a diverse range of activities. “In 2017, I went to Atlanta to the AMS’ yearly career fair to advertise the IST graduate program,” Erdős recalls. “There were hundreds or even thousands of perspective graduate students walking around, talking to senior professors from all kinds of universities. The sheer extent of activities and dynamics were overwhelming.” Furthermore, the AMS runs the job platform and the database mathscinet for math publications, it monitors professional salaries, maintains databases on completed PhD’s in US departments and tracks job placements. In its long history it has formulated numerous policy recommendations on the topics of mathematics education and research and their influence radiated into the entire world of mathematics.


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