Michael Lacey: Math, Futurama and Humor

Michael Lacey is a mathematics professor and Ph.D. mentor working at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 1996. He attained his own Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His thesis was on Banach space probabilities, solving a problem in the law of the iterated logarithm for empirical characteristic functions.

His mentor was Dr. Walter Philipp, with whom he presented proof of the almost sure central limit theorem at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lacey also held a post-doctoral position at Louisiana State University. Read more: Michael Lacey | GAtech and Michael Lacey | Wikipedia

While at Indiana University from 1989 to 1996, Lacey was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study the bi-linear Hilbert Transform. In 1996, this transform was solved by Christoph Thiele and Lacey. They were awarded the Salem Prize for this achievement.

After this, Lacey moved to his current position at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He teaches advanced mathematics to pre-and-post-doctoral students, whom he also mentors. He has mentored over 10 post-doctoral students and has seen dozens of his mentor students move into both the academic and private sectors.

Some of Lacey’s other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to him in 2004 and a Fellowship in the American Mathematical Society in 2012.

Lacey may be best known to the general public as the YouTube star of a math lecture using the animated comedy cartoon Futurama as a framework and example. The free lecture is available online.

Lacey’s teacher page is full of humorous anecdotes and reviews, showing a professor that knows how and when to lighten things up while teaching an advanced and stressful subject.

Lacey administers several education grants from the National Science Foundation, helping students to pay for the costly advanced subjects he teaches, including M3225 and M4305. He has over thirty papers he authored or co-authored available online, as well as his classes syllabus’and curriculum vitae.

The availability of so much of his classroom material is likely an attempt to showcase how difficult these subjects can be for prospective students. He is almost always accepting applicants for mentoring in mathematics, both pre and post doctoral.

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