• Emeritus / Former Members

  • Sir Michael Atiyah

    (d. 2019)

    Sir Michael Atiyah was born in London in 1929. He was educated at Victoria College in Cairo, Manchester Grammar School and Cambridge University (PhD in Mathematics 1955).


    His first posts were in Cambridge, but he then moved to Oxford and became Savilian Professor of Geometry. In 1969, he was appointed Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton before returning to Oxford as Royal Society Research Professor. In 1990, he went back to Cambridge as Master of Trinity College and Director of the newly formed Isaac Newton institute for Mathematical Science.

    Sir Michael was a mathematician who worked in the general area of Geometry, especially in topology, differential geometry and algebraic geometry. His work involved links with analysis and has found significant applications in modern physics. He was active in encouraging interaction between mathematicians and theoretical physicists. His collected works in 6 volumes were published by Oxford University Press. He had more than 50 research students of whom 6 have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society.


    He was President of the Royal Society of London (1990-95), President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (1997-2002), and was elected President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in October 2005. From 1995-2005, he was Chancellor of the University of Leicester.


    He held ‎honorary degrees from more than 30 universities (including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese University) and was a foreign member of ‎over 20 national academies including the French Académie des Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences.


    Sir Michael received many medals and prizes including the Fields Medal in 1966 and the Abel Prize in 2004.


    He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 and was made a member of the Order of Merit in 1992. He was also a Commander of the Order of the Cedars and held the gold medal of merit of the Lebanon.


    Sir Michael Atiyah was a founding member of the ASL. He passed away on January 11, 2019.

    Sample of Academician’s Research

    A twisted cubic curve, the subject of Atiyah's first paper.

    Atiyah's early papers on algebraic geometry (and some general papers) are reprinted in the first volume of his collected works.

    As an undergraduate, Atiyah was interested in classical projective geometry, and wrote his first paper: a short note on twisted cubics. He started research under W. V. D. Hodge and won the Smith's prize for 1954 for a sheaf-theoretic approach to ruled surfaces, which encouraged Atiyah to continue in mathematics, rather than switch to his other interests: architecture & archaeology.


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  • Dr. Moustafa Chahine

    (d. 2011)

    Dr. Moustafa Chahine was Science Team Leader for NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), which was launched onboard the Aqua spacecraft in 2002. He received his PhD in 1960 from the University of California at Berkeley. At JPL, he has served as founding head of the Division of Earth and Space Sciences and as the Laboratory’s Chief Scientist until 2001. Dr. Chahine’s primary interests were in remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, and in climate change processes. He was credited with the development of the analytical “Relaxation” method for inverse solution of the radiative transfer equation. He has also developed a multispectral method using infrared and microwave observations to enable infrared remote sensing through clouds. These methods were applied to the remote sensing of Earth, Venus Mars and Jupiter. In later years, he developed the “Vanishing Partial Derivatives” method to retrieve the mixing ratio of Carbon Dioxide and other minor gases in the troposphere and in the boundary layer. Dr. Chahine served as a member of NASA’s Earth System Sciences Committee and as chair of the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Science Steering Group from 1989-1999.

    Dr. Chahine was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow in the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union and the American and British Meteorological Societies. He has received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1969), Outstanding Leadership, and Exceptional Achievement Medals. He was also a recipient of the William T. Pecora Award from NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Jule G. Charney Award of the American Meteorological Society, the Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the William Nordberg Medal from the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievements (2007), and the SPIE 2010 George W. Goddard Award.


    Dr. Chahine was elected to the ASL in 2010 "For his leadership in the theoretical modeling and space observation of Earth & planetary atmospheres."


    Dr. Moustafa Chahine passed away on March 23rd, 2011.

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