Ben Green is the Herchel Smith Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His interests lie in a relatively new area called additive combinatorics, which arises at the intersection of at least three more-traditional mathematical areas: analysis, number theory, and discrete mathematics. He is particularly interested in applying techniques from this subject to establish theorems about the prime numbers.

At the Radcliffe Institute, Green will work on a program called (perhaps slightly pretentiously) “Discrete Rigidity Phenomena.” It has several different strands, but they all have a common theme: trying to understand “approximate” variants of well-known mathematical structures such as groups and polynomials. In what ways do these approximate structures resemble exact ones? What use can be made of them? The specific aim is to understand approximate polynomials well enough to complete, in collaboration with the mathematician Terence Tao, a program of research concerning patterns of prime numbers.

Green has won several major prizes for his work, including the Clay Research Award, a European Mathematical Society Prize, the Ostrowski Prize, and the Salem Prize. He earned his doctoral degree in mathematics at Cambridge in 2003 and was appointed to the Herchel Smith chair there in 2006, at the age of 29.

Ben J.Green

2009–2010

Augustus Anson Whitney Scholar

University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Mathematics and Applied Sciences

Discrete Rigidity Phenomena

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.