Ben Green (mathematician)

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Ben Green
Ben Green.jpg
Born Ben Joseph Green
(1977-02-27) 27 February 1977 (age 40)
Bristol, England
Residence Oxford, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
(BA, MMath, PhD)
Awards Clay Research Award (2004)
Salem Prize (2005)
Whitehead Prize (2005)
SASTRA Ramanujan Prize (2007)
EMS Prize (2008)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2010)
Sylvester Medal (2014)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
Princeton University
University of British Columbia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis Topics in Arithmetic Combinatorics (2003)
Doctoral advisor Timothy Gowers

Ben Joseph Green FRS (born 27 February 1977) is a British mathematician, specialising in combinatorics and number theory. He is the Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford.

Early life and education

Ben Green was born on 27 February 1977 in Bristol, England. He studied at local schools in Bristol, Bishop Road Primary School and Fairfield Grammar School, competing in the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1994 and 1995.[1] He entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995 and completed his BA in mathematics in 1998, winning the Senior Wrangler title. He stayed on for Part III and earned his doctorate under the supervision of English mathematician Timothy Gowers, with a thesis entitled Topics in arithmetic combinatorics (2003). During his PhD he spent a year as a visiting student at Princeton University. He was a research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge between 2001 and 2005, before becoming a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bristol from January 2005 to September 2006 and then the first Herchel Smith Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from September 2006 to August 2013. He became the Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford on 1 August 2013. He was also a Research Fellow of the Clay Mathematics Institute and held various positions at institutes such as Princeton University, University of British Columbia, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Green has published several results in both combinatorics and number theory. These include improving the estimate by Jean Bourgain of the size of arithmetic progressions in sumsets, as well as a proof of the Cameron–Erdős conjecture on sum-free sets of natural numbers.

His work in demonstrating that every set of primes of positive relative upper density contains an arithmetic progression of length three then led to his 2004 work with mathematician Terence Tao now known as the Green–Tao theorem. This theorem showed that for all sufficiently large n there exist arithmetic progressions of length n in the prime numbers.

Awards and honours

Green received the Clay Research Award in 2004 and the Salem Prize in 2005 for his contributions to combinatorial number theory related to progressions of primes.

In 2005, he was awarded the Whitehead Prize, an annual award for British mathematicians in the early stage of their career.[2]

In 2007 he was awarded the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize.

In 2008 he was among the ten recipients of the European Mathematical Society prize.

In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society[3]

In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[4]

In 2013, he was awarded a Gauss Lecture by the German Mathematical Society.


  1. ^ "Ben Green's results". International Mathematical Olympiad. 
  2. ^ "List of LMS prize winners – London Mathematical Society". 
  3. ^ "- Royal Society". 
  4. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. Retrieved 19 January 2013.

External links

  • Ben Green personal homepage at Oxford
  • Ben Green faculty page at Oxford
  • Ben Green Homepage at Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Clay Research Award 2004 announcement
  • Ben Green at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • math.NT/0404188 – Preprint on arbitrarily long arithmetic progressions on primes
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