Michael Lacey: the mathematician who is passionate about his profession

Michael Lacey is a renowned American mathematician and mentor to various undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. He was born on 26 September 1956 and got his degree from University of Texas. Under Walter Philipp’s supervision, Michael earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1987. While there, he did his thesis on Banach spaces in the probability area which led to him finding the solution to a problem concerning the Law of Iterated Logarithm. Michael also worked on harmonic analysis, ergodic theory and probability.

After doing his Ph.D. studies, Michael’s first experience was at Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina.


As he worked at UNC, Michael and Walter Philipp provided their evidence of the central limit theorem, which is almost sure. From 1989 to 1996, Michael held a position at Indiana University. During his time there, he received a postdoctoral fellowship and started studying the bilinear Hilbert Transform, which coincidentally, had become a subject of conjecture to Albert Calderon. Michael, with Christoph Thiele, solved the transform and this achievement got them the Salem Prize, a prestigious annual award given to a young mathematician for his outstanding work.


Michael Lacey is currently a Mathematics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a position he has maintained since 1996. For his joint work with Xiaochun Li, Michael was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. Guggenheim Fellowship is a grant by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation that has been given annually since 1925 to those who have displayed extraordinary capacity for productive scholarship or excellent creative ability in arts. In 2012, Michael joined American Mathematical Society (AMS) as a fellow. AMS associates professional mathematicians who dedicate themselves to the interests of mathematical scholarship and research and serves the international and national communities through meetings, publications, advocacy as well as the programs.


Besides lecturing at Georgia Institute of Technology, Michael Lacey is an author of several books such as “Stein on the Hilbert Transform on Vector Fields.” He has written many articles in both mathematics and physics and directed some training grants including the VIGRE award and the MCTP.