Solomon Friedberg

Department of Mathematics                                        Solomon Friedberg's picture
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3806
Phone:  (617) 552-3002 
Department Fax:  (617) 552-3789 
Location: Maloney Hall, Room 523

Curriculum Vitae (in pdf format) (updated December 14, 2015)  

Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1982
M.S. University of Chicago, 1979
B.A. Summa cum Laude, University of California, San Diego, 1978

RootsMy grandfather's education certificate (1914)

Position: James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics

For the academic year 2016-2017, I will be teaching two lectures of Multivariable Calculus, Math 2202, in the fall and an advanced graduate class in the spring.  In addition, I meet weekly with my two doctoral students Yuanqing Cai and (Winston) Spencer Leslie. I am happy to meet other students by appointment.  The websites for many of my previous courses may be found here

For students who are seeking more information about which mathematics course to take, please see the Mathematics Department's Advisement Website

Research Areas:
Automorphic forms, number theory, and representation theory.  Selected publications (including preprints).  A good part of my work has concerned the study of families of L-functions by means of analytic methods involving Dirichlet series in several complex variables.  For example, my 1989 paper with Bump and Hoffstein used these to prove a first-order-vanishing theorem for GL(2) L-functions under quadratic twists, which has applications to arithmetic.  The study of such series has proved unexpectedly rich. I and my collaborators now refer to this area as the study of Multiple Dirichlet Series (though it might be more accurate to tack on "Automorphic" in front).   Multiple Dirichlet series, which are related to the theory of automorphic forms on metaplectic covers of reductive groups, are not Euler products (in contrast to Langlands L-functions), but rather twisted Euler products---the interplay between the contributions from different primes is governed by n-th order residue symbols.  In many cases they have meromorphic continuation and a finite group of functional equations that is generated by reflections.  In the last few years, I and my collaborators Profs. Ben Brubaker (Minnesota), Daniel Bump (Stanford) and Lei Zhang (National University of Singapore) have established surprising links to combinatorial representation theory, quantum groups and statistical mechanics.  Multiple Dirichlet series may also be attached to other classes of mathematical objects, such as affine Weyl groups.  If their continuation to a suitable region can be proven, it would lead to striking advances.  Recently, I have also carried out other research projects related to automorphic forms on covers of groups, joint with David Ginzburg (Tel Aviv), and related to Hecke algebras (joint with Brubaker and Bump). 

My research is supported by NSF grant DMS-1500977.  I have benefited greatly from prior external support for my research from both the NSF and from the NSA's Mathematical Sciences program, as well as from support by Boston College.

I am an editor for the new Springer journal Research in Number Theory.

Departmental Leadership:
I served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics for 9 years, from June 2007 through May 2016. During my period of service, the Math Department wrote a self-study and had an external program review, started a Ph.D. program, instituted a new B.S. degree, hired superb young scholars and teachers into tenure-track and postdoctoral positions, dramatically increased its external funding (as of May 2016 we had 17 faculty members with NSF grants in support of their research), revised its undergraduate offerings significantly, started an annual Alumni Newsletter and the BC Math Alumni Network, organized a Distinguished Lecturer series and the BC-MIT Number Theory Seminar, built new ties to the Lynch School of Education, hosted an American Mathematical Society sectional meeting, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mathematical Sciences Center and Department of Mathematical Sciences at Tsinghua University to encourage cooperation and the exchange of scholars, carried out a planning process to determine next steps as we seek to become one of the top departments in the country in both research and teaching, moved to a new location on the fifth floor of Maloney Hall (with many aspects of this space specifically designed for the department), and seen a dramatic rise in the number of Mathematics majors (in my last semester as Chair we passed the milestone of 350 majors; by contrast, in Fall 2000 there were 135).  Here is a November 2012 news report on the department's progress. 

Other Activities:
I founded the Boston College Mathematics Case Studies Project to develop new training materials--Case Studies--for use in TA-development programs for mathematics graduate students.  Though the project ended over 10 years ago, the materials are still in use, and I continue to give workshops and talks on them. More recently, a group of Chilean mathematicians has carried out a project to improve the pedagogical skills of future Chilean high school teachers using, in part, case studies.  I have made 3 trips to Chile in support of their efforts. A volume by Cristián Reyes of the Centro de Modelmiento Matemático containing Spanish-language cases for secondary teachers appeared in 2011. Continuing this interest, I have been a member of the AMS-MAA Joint Committee on TAs and Part-Time Instructors since February 2015, serving as Chair of the committee from February 2016 to January 2020.

I am also involved in pre-collegiate mathematics education in other ways.  I have been an editor of the CBMS book series Issues in Mathematics Education from 2006 on.  I serve on the National Academy of Science's U.S National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, am a member of the Board of Directors of Math for America Boston, and was an advisor to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education concerning the Massachusetts mathematics framework and concerning its response to the Common Core (2009-2010).  Additional service includes: Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's Math-Science Advisory Council (2007-2013), Focus on Mathematics Phase II Advisory Board (2009-2011), Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education Advisory Board (2011-2012), AMS representative on a JPBM committee to explore a Partnership for Mathematical Sciences in America (2009); member of the Advisory Board for the American Mathematical Society's Working Group on Preparation for Technical Careers (2007-2009); member of the Steering Committee for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program (2004-2007).  I was also on a team of mathematicians and math educators who developed essays concerning middle school and high school mathematics (2008-2009).  Here are some essays from the project.  And I served as an (unpaid) consultant in the writing of the Massachusetts Board of Education's Guidelines for the Mathematical Preparation of Elementary Teachers (July 2007).

I have written four op-eds concerned with math education:

Also, I am featured in a series of video conversations (released spring 2015) with Dr. Diane Briars, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. 

Locally, I have served as a mentor and as a content-advisor for preservice teachers at BC, as the BC Teachers for a New Era (TNE) point person for the mathematics department, and as Chair of the TNE Coordinating Council (2011-2013). I hope to involve more math students in K-12 education, and more math faculty in interacting with pre- and in- service K-12 teachers. Please contact me about this if you are interested.  From 2009-2010 on I have also co-organized a monthly Seminar in Mathematics Education jointly with Prof. Lillie Albert of the Department of Teacher Education, and from 2012 on, also jointly with Prof. C.K. Cheung of the Mathematics department.  This seminar series has been sponsored by TNE.

Last, I am co-PI on a 6-year NSF-funded project (2013-2019) "Exemplary Mathematics Educators for High-need Schools," joint with Profs. Albert and Cheung.  Together with colleagues at BU, the EDC and Math for America-Boston, we are working with both beginning and master math teachers for high-needs schools and developing infrastructure to support excellence in math instruction in Boston-area schools.  For more information about the Noyce Teaching Fellowships leading to an M.S.T., please see here.

If you are interested in teaching math, you may also appreciate this thought-provoking blog post (written by one of my daughters).

Honors and Awards:
Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, San Diego, 1978
McCormick Graduate Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1978-81
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1982-84
NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Science, 1985-86
Indo-American (Fullbright) Fellowship, 1987-88
Sloan Fellowship, 1989-92
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Mathematics, Brown University, Spring 2002
MAA Northeastern Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, 2009
McIntyre Chair, Boston College, appointed 2013
Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, Class of 2014
Distinguished Ordway Visitor, University of Minnesota, 2014

Here are a few photos from various trips and conferences.

Recent and Planned External Lectures (and occasional other travel or events):

External lectures, 2001-2009
Ph.D. Students:
Ozlem Imamoglu, 1992, UCSC, Theta functions and Kubota homomorphisms for the symplectic group over the Gaussian integers.
Thomas Goetze, 1995, UCSC, On a cubic Shimura integral for a rank two symplectic group.
Nancy Allen, 1996, UCSC, On the spectra of certain graphs arising from finite fields.
Ji Li, 2005,  Boston University, Determination of a GL(2) cuspform by twists of critical L-values.
Ting-Fang Lee, 2013, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, On arithmetic over function fields (co-advisor with Prof. Jing Yu).
Yuanqing Cai, Boston College, in progress.  Paper " Fourier coefficients for theta representations on covers of general linear groups" here.
Spencer (Winston) Leslie, Boston College, in progress.

I greatly enjoy having doctoral students, and welcome graduate students interested in writing a Ph.D. dissertation in automorphic forms or related areas of number theory or representation theory.  Please apply to our doctoral program if you are interested in working with me.  

Selected Publications

Math Department Home Page
Last update: June 29, 2016