- Stephen Smale
Infobox Scientist

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name = Stephen Smale

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birth_date = birth date and age|1930|07|15

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field =Mathematics

work_institution =University of Chicago ,Columbia University andUniversity of California, Berkeley

alma_mater =University of Michigan

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prizes =Fields Medal andWolf Prize

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footnotes =**Stephen Smale**(bornJuly 15 ,1930 ) is an Americanmathematician fromFlint, Michigan . He was awarded theFields Medal in1966 , and spent more than three decades on the mathematics faculty of theUniversity of California, Berkeley (1960-61 and 1964-1995). He entered theUniversity of Michigan in 1948. Initially, Smale was a good student, placing into an honorscalculus sequence taught by Bob Thrall and earning himself A's. However, his sophomore and junior years were marred with mediocre grades, mostly Bs, Cs and even an F innuclear physics . However, with some luck, Smale was accepted as a graduate student at the University of Michigan's mathematics department. Yet again, Smale performed poorly his first years, earning a C average as a graduate student. It was only when the department chair, Hildebrant, threatened to kick out Smale, that he began to work hard. Smale finally earned hisPh.D. in 1957, underRaoul Bott .Smale began his career as an instructor at the college at the

University of Chicago . In 1958, he astounded the mathematical world with a proof of a sphere eversion. He then cemented his reputation with a proof of thePoincaré conjecture for all dimensions greater than or equal to 5; he later generalized the ideas in a 107 page paper that established theh-cobordism theorem .After having made great strides in

topology , he then turned to the study ofdynamical systems , where he made significant advances as well. His first contribution is the Smale horseshoe that jumpstarted significant research in dynamical systems. He also outlined a research program carried out by many others. Smale is also known for injectingMorse theory into mathematicaleconomics , as well as recent explorations of various theories ofcomputation .In 1998 he compiled a list of 18 problems in

mathematics to be solved in the 21st century, known asSmale's problems . This list was compiled in the spirit of Hilbert's famous list of problems produced in 1900. In fact, Smale's list contains some of the original Hilbert problems, including theRiemann hypothesis and the second half ofHilbert's sixteenth problem , both of which are still unsolved. Other famous problems on his list include thePoincaré conjecture , theP = NP problem , and the Navier-Stokes equations, all of which have been designatedMillennium Prize Problems by theClay Mathematics Institute .Earlier in his career, Smale was involved in controversy over remarks he made regarding his work habits while proving the higher dimensional Poincaré conjecture. He said that his best work had been done "on the beaches of Rio". This led to the withholding of his grant money from the

NSF . He has been politically active in various movements in the past, such as theFree Speech movement . At one time he wassubpoena ed by theHouse Un-American Activities Committee .In 1960 Smale was appointed an associate professor of mathematics at the

University of California, Berkeley , moving to a professorship atColumbia University the following year. In 1964 he returned to a professorship at UC Berkeley where he has spent the main part of his career. He retired from UC Berkeley in 1995 and took up a post as professor at theCity University of Hong Kong . He also amassed over the years one of the finest private mineral collections in existence. Many of Smale's mineral specimens can be seen in the book - "The Smale Collection: Beauty in Natural Crystals" [*http://www.lithographie.org/bookshop/the_smale_collection.htm*] .Smale is currently a professor at the

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago , a research institute closely affiliated with theUniversity of Chicago .In 2007, Smale was awarded the

Wolf Prize in mathematics. [*[*] He is the last of only eight Fields Medallists to win both prizes.*http://www.huji.ac.il/cgi-bin/dovrut/dovrut_search_eng_dev.pl?mesge116895485932688760 Press release*]**Important publications*** S. Smale, "Generalized Poincaré's conjecture in dimensions greater than four" ,

Annals of Mathematics , 2nd Ser., 74 (1961), no. 2, 391 – 406. ( [*http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-486X%28196109%292%3A74%3A2%3C391%3AGPCIDG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-B via JSTOR*] )

* S. Smale, "Differentiable dynamical systems",Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society , 73 (1967), 747 – 817. ( [*http://www.ams.org/bull/1967-73-06/S0002-9904-1967-11797-X/home.html*] )**References****External links***

* [*http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/ma/people/smale%20main.htm Stephen Smale's homepage*] at the City University of Hong Kong

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* [*http://www.tti-c.org/smale.html Stephen Smale's faculty listing at TTI*]

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*Robion Kirby , " [*http://www.ams.org/notices/200011/rev-kirby.pdf Stephen Smale: The Mathematician Who Broke the Dimension Barrier*] ", a book review of a biography in the Notices of the AMS.

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