Thomas C. Hales is the Mellon Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University, a Tripos Part III from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in representation theory under R. P. Langlands. He has held postdoctoral and faculty appointments at MSRI, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Michigan. In 1998, Hales, with the help of his graduate student Samuel Ferguson, proved Kepler’s 1611 conjecture (and part of Hilbert’s 18th problem) on the most efficient way to stack oranges. Hales’s current project, called Flyspeck, seeks to formalize the proof of the Kepler conjecture in the computer proof assistant “HOL Light.” |