A Conversation with Robert Zimmer and Nicholas Christakis
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About the Event
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Robert J. Zimmer has been president of the University of Chicago since 2006. An advocate of freedom of speech, he has spoken and written in support of free expression and challenging discourse on college campuses. In recognition of this work, in 2017 he was given the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).
Zimmer earned his A.B. summa cum laude from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University. He came to the University of Chicago as a faculty member in mathematics in 1977, subsequently serving as chair of the Mathematics Department, Deputy Provost, and Vice President for Research and Argonne National Laboratory. He served as provost of Brown University from 2002-2006, before returning to the University of Chicago to assume the role of president. In addition, he is currently Chair of the Boards of Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory.
As a mathematician, Zimmer specializes in the ﬁeld of geometry, particularly ergodic theory, Lie groups, and differential geometry. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has honorary degrees from Tsinghua University and Colby College.
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University. His work is in the the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006; the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.