Michael Lacey Is Changing Math

Michael Lacey’s career as a mathematician has been nothing short of amazing. He has a knack for taking math to a whole other level. In 1987, Lacey finished his thesis on probabilities in Banach spaces and graduated with his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His thesis managed to solve problems which had to do with the law of the iterated logarithm. He has since worked on problems of ergodic theory, probability, and what he is most known for harmonic analysis.


After receiving his Ph.D. Lacey went on to do a postdoctoral at Louisiana State University. He then went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC Lacey worked with Walter Philipp and they showed that there is proof of the central limit theorem. In 1989 Lacey began working for Indiana University. He was at Indiana University for 7 years, until 1996. He received many honors during his time there, including the National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. It was during this fellowship that Lacey began studying the bilinear Hilbert transform. Alberto Calderón had been working on the Hilbert transform, but it was Michael Lacey and Christoph Thiele who solved the Hilbert transform, winning them the Salem Prize in 1996.


After winning the Salem Prize, Michael Lacey left UNC and went to Georgia Institute of Technology where he has been a professor ever since. He has had the privilege of receiving the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. His work has also been recognized by the Simons Foundation. The American Mathematical Society names him a fellow in 2012.


Michael Lacey directs many grants such as MCTP and VIGRE awards which are given by the NSF. These grants have helped to support many students working on their undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and postdoctoral as well. Michael Lacey takes mentoring very seriously and has mentored countless graduate students as well as over 10 postdoc students.