Ravi Damodar Vakil
Vakil in 2008
Born (1970-02-22) February 22, 1970 (age 54)
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
NationalityCanadian American
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
Harvard University
AwardsChauvenet Prize (2014)[1]
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
Princeton University
Doctoral advisorJoe Harris

Ravi D. Vakil (born February 22, 1970) is a Canadian-American mathematician working in algebraic geometry.

Education and career

Vakil attended high school at Martingrove Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke, Ontario, where he won several mathematical contests and olympiads.[2] After earning a BSc and MSc from the University of Toronto in 1992, he completed a PhD in mathematics at Harvard University in 1997 under Joe Harris.[3] He has since been an instructor at both Princeton University and MIT. Since the fall of 2001, he has taught at Stanford University,[4] becoming a full professor in 2007.


Vakil is an algebraic geometer and his research work spans over enumerative geometry, topology, Gromov–Witten theory, and classical algebraic geometry. He has solved several old problems in Schubert calculus. Among other results, he proved that all Schubert problems are enumerative[5] over the real numbers, a result that resolves an issue mathematicians have worked on for at least two decades.

Awards and honors

Vakil has received many awards, including an NSF CAREER Fellowship, a Sloan Research Fellowship, an American Mathematical Society Centennial Fellowship, a G. de B. Robinson prize for the best paper published (2000) in the Canadian Journal of Mathematics and the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin,[6] and the André-Aisenstadt Prize from the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques at the Université de Montréal (2005), and the Chauvenet Prize[1] (2014)..

In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[7]

Mathematics contests

He was a member of the Canadian team in three International Mathematical Olympiads, winning silver, gold (perfect score), and gold in 1986, 1987, and 1988 respectively. He was also the fourth person to be a four-time Putnam Fellow in the history of the contest. Also, he has been the coordinator of weekly Putnam preparation seminars at Stanford.[8]


  1. ^ a b Vakil, Ravi (2011). "The Mathematics of Doodling". Amer. Math. Monthly. 118 (2): 116–129. doi:10.4169/amer.math.monthly.118.02.116. S2CID 30987758.
  2. ^ "CMO Winners sorted by school by rank". Canadian Mathematical Society. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Mathematics genealogy
  4. ^ Stanford mathematics faculty
  5. ^ Vakil, Ravi (September 1, 2006). "Schubert induction". Annals of Mathematics. 164 (2): 489–512. doi:10.4007/annals.2006.164.489. ISSN 0003-486X.
  6. ^ List of the G. de B. Robinson award's recipients, retrieved August 12, 2021.
  7. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved August 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "STANFORD / Teacher, students revel in joy of high-level math". December 2, 2006.