Simon Donaldson
#7315 Overall Influence

Simon Donaldson

English mathematician and Fields medalist


Why is this person notable and influential?

Donaldson is a permanent member of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University and Professor in Pure Mathematics at Imperial College, London. He is known for the eponymous Donaldson-Thomas theory of invariants in algebraic geometry (see also Andrei Akounkov above). Donaldson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Pembroke College in Cambridge University in 1979, and his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1983.

Donaldson published a paper while working on his Ph.D. that made him famous. The paper, titled “Self-dual connections and the topology of smooth 4-manifolds,” stunned the mathematical world (though, perhaps, no one else understood it!), establishing an unanticipated result—namely, that there were “exotic” structures on so-called topological manifolds in differential mathematics. Donaldson’s unexpected result earned him a year as visiting scholar at Princeton’s IAS, a year visiting Stanford University to perform fundamental mathematics research, and a professorship at Imperial College London.

Donaldson won the Fields Medal in 1986. He won the Royal Medal in 1992 and the Polya Prize in 1999. Most recently, Donaldson received the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 2020.

Academic Website

Featured in Top Influential Mathematicians Today

Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?
Imperial College London
Imperial College London

Public research university located in London, United Kingdom

view profile

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#190 World Rank