Mathematician Michael Lacey’s academic journey

If you think mathematics is a tough subject, think again. Here is a man with a math doctorate, that may not be something of ‘wonder’ for you, but for some of us, well, no words.

His name was Michael Thoreau Lacey, a renowned American Mathematician born on September 26th, 1959. In the year 1987, Lacey received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied under Walter Philipp.

Michael is well known for his contributions on mathematics branch, Probability. In fact, it was his primary area of research during his degree thesis during his university days. To be specific, Michael dealt with Banach spaces which is more of functional analysis of a vector with its norm defined.

Through his incredible ability to solve mathematical problems, Michael contributed to definition and formulation of the law of the iterated logarithm, which is a commonly used law in solving probability problems.

Through this law of probability, Michael made it easy for learners to describe the impact (magnitude) of a stochastic object (some random steps such as integers found along the number line). Michael helped solve the problem that involved such random walks as well as characteristics functions.

After his university days, Michael shifted his study top include probability, the study of dynamical systems and related problems and harmonic analysis (his personal best). To quench your curiosity, harmonic analysis is a branch of mathematics that deals with study and representation of related sets (functions) in the form of simple waves with little of Fourier analysis spicing.

Michael also joined the Louisiana State University as well as the University of North Carolina based in Chapel Hill for his postdoctoral responsibilities and to prove his mathematics understanding for the doubting Thomases.

During his period at the University of North Carolina, Michael together with his mentor Walter Philipp made an instrumental discovery that helped to shape Probability theory. They performed a next-to-perfect central limit theorem (CLT). Read more: Michael Lacey | Wikipedia

After this epic breakthrough, Michael worked at Indiana University from the year 1989 to 1996 where he was honored with a Postdoctoral Fellowship by National Science Foundation.

At around the same time, Mr. Lacey continued with his phenomenal mathematical experiments and this time around, and he shifted his focus to signal processing through the Hilbert transform.

In 1996, Michael and Christoph Thiele solved various problems related with Hilbert transform, an act that earned them Salem Prize which is an award named after a Greek Mathematician Raphael Salem, and it is given out annually to mathematicians who demonstrated outstanding work in Salem’s areas of interests which include Fourier series. Other awards included Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.

Since then, Michael has been serving as the Professor of Mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined American Mathematical Society as a fellow in 2012.


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