Schramm received the 2002 Clay Research Award for his "work in combining analytic power with geometric insight in the field of random walks, percolation, and probability theory in general, especially for formulating stochastic Loewner evolution. His work opens new doors and reinvigorates research in these fields."
Oded Schramm came to the United States in 1987 from Israel to study as a graduate student in topology under William Thurston. After this, his work evolved into the frontiers of problems in combinatorics and analysis. Schramm is an example of a person using training in one field to elucidate another one.
Currently, Schramm is a Senior Researcher in the mathematics group at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. This research group brings together a unique set of mathematicians to work outside a university environment.
While Schramm is known in many fields, he is perhaps most widely recognized for his ground-breaking proposal of stochastic Loewner evolution, or SLE. This work led to the solution of many problems by him, many together with his collaborators Greg Lawler now at Cornell University, and Wendelin Werner in Strasbourg, France, as well as by many other mathematical researchers. His work in a spectacular series of papers has led to major progress in probability theory, in the theory of percolation and of random walks, as well as in related topics of conformal field theory. Schramm presented a wonderful series of lectures about work barely a year ago here in Cambridge. He has over 50 publications, many of which are regarded by experts as breaking important new ground.