One of the most influential living mathematicians
A mathematician and a physicist, Demetrios Christodoulou was born on October 19th, 1951, in Athens and currently holds the position of Professor at one of the major universities in Europe, the ETH Zurich.
His research mainly focuses on Partial Differential Equations, Partial Geometry, the General Theory of Relativity, the Einstein’s Equations and Fluid Mechanics.
At the age of 17, Christodoulou left Greece to pursue his Masters in Physics at Princeton University in the United States. He later received his doctorate and a promising future was ahead of him.
In 1972, at the age of 22, he relocated to Greece to work as a Professor at the Physics Department of the Kapodistrian University of Athens. He later resigned to serve his next career milestone as a CERN researcher in Geneva.
He has hold teaching positions in several universities, like the Syracuse University in New York, Princeton University, Courant Institute of New York and since 2001 he has been teaching at ETH Zurich. He has also received Honour Doctorates by several universities, like Brown University, Boston University, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and many more.
In his doctorate, Christodoulou conceived the basic idea that later triggered S. Hawking, J. Bekenstein and others to form theories on black hole thermodynamics and also on the Hawking radiation.
On the basis of the General Theory of Relativity, Demetrios Christodoulou, together with S. Kleinerman, has proved the nonlinear stability of the Minkowski spacetime in which we live and has also established strict theorems on black holes formation.
In 2011, Christodoulou retrieved the influential Shaw Prize, globally known as Asia’s Nobe Prizel, for his contribution to the science of mathematics. Moreover, he was awarded the Tomalla Prize in 2008, the American Mathematical Society’s Bôcher Memorial Prize in 1999, and the MacArthur Institute Fellows Award on Mathematics and Physics in 1993.
In July 2000, Demetrios Christodoulou received the Grade of Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, a distinction awarded by the Greek government to citizens who have excelled in arts and sciences.
He’s also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences.