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Noam Elkies in 2007

Noam D. Elkies (born 1966 in New York City) is an American mathematician and chess master.

At age 14, Elkies received a gold medal with perfect score at the International Mathematical Olympiad.[1] Elkies graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1982[2] and went on to Columbia University, where he won the Putnam competition at the age of sixteen years and four months, making him one of the youngest Putnam Fellows in history.[3] He was a Putnam Fellow two more times during his undergraduate years. After graduating as valedictorian at age 18, summa in Mathematics and Music, he earned his Ph.D., at age 20, under supervision of Benedict Gross and Barry Mazur at Harvard University.[4]

In 1987, he proved that an elliptic curve over the rational numbers is supersingular at infinitely many primes. In 1988, he disproved Euler's sum of powers conjecture for fourth powers.[5]

His work on these problems won him recognition and a position as an associate professor at Harvard in 1990.[2] In 1993, he was made a full, tenured professor at the age of 26. This made him the youngest full professor in the history of Harvard, surpassing the record previously held by Alan Dershowitz and Lawrence Summers (who were made full professors at age 28).

Elkies, along with A. O. L. Atkin, extended Schoof's algorithm to create the Schoof-Elkies-Atkin algorithm.

He is an accomplished composer and solver of chess problems (winning the 1996 World Chess Solving Championship) and musical compositions. He has discovered many new patterns in Conway's Game of Life[6] and has studied the mathematics of still life patterns in that cellular automaton rule.[7]

Elkies is also renowned for his knowledge of the connections between mathematics and music. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Mathematics and Music.[8]

Elkies is also a fellow at Harvard's Lowell House.[9] He is a faculty adviser to the Harvard Israel Review.[10]


  1. ^ IMO Results
  2. ^ a b "Noam Elkies c.v.". Retrieved 2007-10-31.  
  3. ^ Gallian, Joseph A.. "The Putnam Competition from 1938-2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-31.  
  4. ^ The Mathematics Genealogy Project - Noam Elkies
  5. ^ "Mathematicians Find New Solutions To An Ancient Puzzle". 2008.  
  6. ^ Game of Life Status page, Jason Summers.
  7. ^ Elkies, Noam D. (1998), Voronoi's Impact on Modern Science, Book I, Proc. Inst. Math. Nat. Acad. Sci. Ukraine, vol. 21, pp. 228–253, arΧiv:math.CO/9905194  .
  8. ^ "Editorial Board of Mathematics and Music".  
  9. ^ "Lowell House: SCR". Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  10. ^ Harvard Israel Review

External links



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