Michael Harris was born and grew up in the Kingsessing neighborhood of Philadelphia. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Princeton and his Ph.D. at Harvard, where he wrote his thesis under the direction of Barry Mazur. Harris successively held professorships at Brandeis University; at Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot, where he is now an emeritus professor; and since 2013 at Columbia University. He shared the Clay Research Award with Richard Taylor and received the Grand Prix Sophie Germain de l’Académie des Sciences, both in 2007. He was named to the Institut Universitaire de France in 2001 and directed the Automorphic Forms project of the Institut Mathématique de Jussieu from 2001-2007. He is a member of Academia Europea, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Harris's work has focused on the interplay between two approaches to number theory: the Langlands program, which reinterprets the Galois groups of number fields using methods borrowed from mathematical physics, and Grothendieck's theory of motives, which sees the same phenomena from the standpoint of topology. Shimura varieties provide a natural and fruitful link between the two approaches and careful analysis of their properties has led to many of the most striking developments in number theory of the past 40 years. Harris developed the study of the coherent cohomology of Shimura varieties as a branch of number theory and with collaborators has applied this to conjectures on special values of L-functions, to the construction of Galois representations, and to the arithmetic of the theta correspondence. His best-known work is his proof with Richard Taylor of the Local Langlands Conjecture and his solution with Taylor, Clozel, Shepherd-Barron, Barnet-Lamb, and Geraghty of the Sato-Tate Conjecture for modular forms. His most recent work is largely concerned with geometric aspects of the Langlands program.

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Section 11: Mathematics