James McKernan
McKernan in 2006
Born (1964-03-19) 19 March 1964 (age 60)
London, England, UK
Alma materHarvard University
Trinity College, Cambridge
AwardsCole Prize (2009)
Clay Research Award (2007)
Breakthrough Prize (2018)
Scientific career
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, San Diego
Doctoral advisorJoe Harris

James McKernan FRS (born 1964) is a mathematician, and a professor of mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. He was a professor at MIT from 2007 until 2013.


McKernan was educated at The Campion School and Trinity College, Cambridge, before going on to earn his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991.[1] His dissertation, On the Hyperplane Sections of a Variety in Projective Space, was supervised by Joe Harris.[2]


McKernan was the joint winner of the Cole Prize in 2009,[3][4] and joint recipient of the Clay Research Award in 2007.[5] Both honors were received jointly with his colleague Christopher Hacon. He gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2010, on the topic of "Algebraic Geometry".[6] He was the joint winner (with Christopher Hacon) of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

He was elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in the 2020 Class, for "contributions to algebraic geometry, in particular his proof of the finite generation of the canonical ring, the existence of flips and the boundedness of varieties of log general type".[7]


  1. ^ 'Cambridge University Tripos results', Times, 4 July 1985.
  2. ^ James McKernan at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "Christopher Hacon and James McKernan Receive 2009 AMS Cole Prize in Algebra". American Mathematical Society. 6 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Mathematics Professor Receives Cole Prize". University of California, Santa Barbara. 9 February 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Clay Research Award, 2007". Clay Mathematics Institute. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010.
  6. ^ "ICM Plenary and Invited Speakers since 1897". International Congress of Mathematicians. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  7. ^ 2020 Class of the Fellows of the AMS, American Mathematical Society, retrieved 3 November 2019