Robert Mark Goresky is a Canadian mathematician who invented intersection homology with his advisor and life partner Robert MacPherson.


Goresky received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1976. His thesis, titled Geometric Cohomology and Homology of Stratified Objects, was written under the direction of MacPherson.[1] Many of the results in his thesis were published in 1981 by the American Mathematical Society. He has taught at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and Northeastern University.[citation needed]


Goresky received a Sloan Research Fellowship in 1981.[2] He received the Coxeter–James Prize in 1984.[3] In 2002, Goresky and MacPherson were jointly awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research by the American Mathematical Society.[4][5] In 2012 Goresky became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[6]


Goresky's PhD advisor, Robert D. MacPherson, later became his life partner. Their discovery of intersection homology made "both of them famous."[7] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, they were instrumental in channeling aid to Russian mathematicians, especially many who had to hide their sexuality.[7]

Selected publications