Joe Harris
Born (1951-08-17) August 17, 1951 (age 71)
Alma materHarvard University (AB, PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsBrown University
Harvard University
Doctoral advisorPhillip Griffiths
Doctoral students

Joseph Daniel Harris (born August 17, 1951) is a mathematician at Harvard University working in the field of algebraic geometry. After earning an AB from Harvard College, where he took Math 55,[1] he continued at Harvard to study for a PhD under Phillip Griffiths.


During the 1980s, he was on the faculty of Brown University, moving to Harvard around 1988.[citation needed] He served as chair of the department at Harvard from 2002 to 2005. His work is characterized by its classical geometric flavor: he has claimed that nothing he thinks about could not have been imagined by the Italian geometers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and that if he has had greater success than them, it is because he has access to better tools.[citation needed]

Harris is well known for several of his books on algebraic geometry, notable for their informal presentations:

As of 2018, Harris has supervised 50 PhD students, including Brendan Hassett, James McKernan, Rahul Pandharipande, Zvezdelina Stankova, and Ravi Vakil.[5]


  1. ^ Yefremova, Anastasia (May 5, 2022). "Demystifying Math 55". Department of Mathematics, Harvard University. Archived from the original on August 25, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022. ((cite web)): |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch (help)
  2. ^ Lipman, Joseph (1980). "Review: Principles of algebraic geometry, by Phillip Godwin, and Joseph Harris" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 2 (1): 197–200. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1980-14717-5.
  3. ^ Ciliberto, Ciro (1999). "Review: Moduli of curves, by J. Harris and I. Morrison" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 36 (4): 499–503. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-99-00791-0.
  4. ^ Gross, Benedict; Harris, Joe; Riehl, Emily (2019). Fat Chance: Probability from 0 to 1. Cambridge University Press. Reviews:
  5. ^ "Joseph Harris - The Mathematics Genealogy Project". Retrieved 2018-05-01.