Sanjeev Arora and Gérard Ben Arous Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Sanjeev Arora, a 2012 Simons Investigator in Computer Science and a principal investigator in the Simons Collaboration on Algorithms and Geometry, and Gérard Ben Arous, a former member of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Scientific Advisory Board, have been elected to the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

Founded in 1780 with the mission of advancing science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people, the AAAS is among the top honorary societies in the U.S. and a prominent center for independent policy research.

Sanjeev Arora is the Charles C. Fitzmorris Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. He began his career with a major contribution to the proof of the PCP theorem, widely regarded as the most important result in complexity theory in the last 40 years. The PCP theorem revolutionized our understanding of optimization problems and opened new directions in coding, cryptography and other areas.

Arora is also known for his breakthroughs in approximation algorithms, having solved longstanding open problems. Notable examples include his algorithms for the Euclidean traveling salesman problem and for the sparsest cut in a graph. Arora has made important contributions in many other areas, including the unique games conjecture (a conjectured strengthening of the PCP theorem) and the power and limitations of hierarchies of linear and semi-definite programs.

Gérard Ben Arous is an expert in probability theory and its applications. He is professor of mathematics and director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. His career has included professorships at Paris-Sud University in Orsay, France; École Normale Supérieure in Paris; and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is managing editor (with Amir Dembo) of the journal Probability Theory and Related Fields.

His recent work focuses on the study of the spectrum of large random matrices, as well as the statistical mechanics of disordered and complex media, in particular their non-equilibrium properties. His honors include the 1993 Rollo Davidson Prize, the 1996 Montyon Prize of the French Academy of Sciences, the Lady Davis Senior Fellowship in Israel in 2000, and membership to the International Statistical Institute in 2004.

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