Ian Agol is a professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley. He was born in Hollywood, California, with an identical twin brother Eric. He attended Caltech as an undergraduate, and obtained a PhD from UC San Diego in 1998 with advisor Michael Freedman. He held postdoctoral positions at UC Davis and the University of Melbourne before taking his first position at University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2007, he moved to the University of California at Berkeley. He received the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry in 2013, and the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

Research Interests

Agol's research focusses on 3-dimensional topology, principally the study of hyperbolic 3-manifolds. One main theme is the interaction of topology and geometry, and the study of 2-dimensional surfaces sitting in 3-dimensional spaces. He resolved the tameness conjecture of Marden (and by implication the Ahlfors measure conjecture), which was independently resolved by Danny Calegari and David Gabai. In 2012, he announced the solution of the virtual Haken and virtual fibering conjectures (partly in joint work with Daniel Groves and Jason Manning). The resolution of these conjectures followed from a conjecture of Dani Wise in geometric group theory regarding cube complexes and word-hyperbolic groups (in the sense of Mikhail Gromov), and made extensive use of the techniques of Wise and his collaborators.

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Section 11: Mathematics