Thank you for the September article (On the Campus) on June Huh, a fresh young faculty member who has just been awarded a Fields Medal, said to be equivalent in mathematics to the Nobel Prize. It is wonderful to see that Princeton remains a vibrant center of mathematics research.
The article names other top mathematicians with Princeton connections who have won prestigious prizes this year. An important omission in this list was Dennis Sullivan *66, who in March 2022 won the Abel Prize, also bracketed with the Nobel. You can read about other Princetonians who have won the Abel Prize in PAW’s March 23, 2011, issue and about Sullivan's award at abelprize.no.
Dennis Sullivan’s Princeton connection was brief, but for this undergraduate it was life-altering. Following his Princeton Ph.D., Sullivan taught a small course in multivariable calculus. It was the most exciting course I took at Princeton, sweeping me into mathematics, first as a major and then as a career. It was Sullivan’s now-famous charisma that brought me into the field, a decision that I’ve never regretted. It seems a shame that his connection to Princeton should have gone unnoticed as he receives such a prestigious award.
In any case, it is a great pleasure to see that Princeton continues to recruit young mathematical stars like Professor Huh. I wish him the best, both in his research and in the classroom.
Editor’s note: The author is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara.