Peter Winkler was named Clay Senior Scholar at the program on Probability, Algorithms and Statistical Physics at MSRI. He will be in residence for three months during the Spring Semester, 2005.
Peter Winkler is Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth, currently on leave at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. Last year he concluded a term as Director of Fundamental Mathematics Research at Bell Labs (Lucent Technologies) while on sabbatical at the Institute for Advanced Study.
A winner of the Mathematical Association of America's Lester R. Ford Award for mathematical exposition, Dr. Winkler is the author of about 125 mathematical research papers and holds a dozen patents in computing, cryptology, holography, optical networking and marine navigation. His research papers are primarily in combinatorics, probability and the theory of computing, with forays into statistical physics.
Dr. Winkler received his BA from Harvard summa cum laude in mathematics, then after a stint in the US Navy, his PhD from Yale as a student of Abraham Robinson and Angus Macintyre. He joined the faculties of Stanford and then Emory University, where he became Professor and Chairman of Mathematics and Computer Science. In 1989 he left academia for industry, returning only last June.
When not proving theorems or enjoying his family, Winkler is generally found on a squash court or playing and composing ragtime piano music. He collects puzzles both mechanical and mathematical, the latter appearing in a new book called "Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection." In some circles Winkler is notorious as the inventor of cryptologic techniques for the game of bridge, which have now been declared illegal for tournament play in most of the western world.