Hirosi Ooguri named Benjamin Lee Professor
August 25, 2021
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe
Hirosi Ooguri, Director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), and the Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and the Founding Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics at California Institute of technology, has been named this year’s Benjamin Lee Professor, it was announced by the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) in South Korea.
The professorship was created in honor of Korean theoretical physicist Benjamin Lee, who had a distinguished career in particle physics theory, and invites the researcher to stay at APTCP for an extended period to interact with domestic researchers and graduate students.
This year, the APCTP recognized Ooguri’s contributions to fields including superstring theory, quantum black holes, supersymmetric gauge theory, and mathematical physics.
"Benjamin Lee was the head of theoretical physics at Fermilab. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 42 by a traffic accident on his way from Chicago to Aspen. When I was a graduate student, I learned quantization of non-Abelian gauge theory by reading his review article and Les Houches lecture notes. This was my first exposure to modern quantum field theory techniques. I am therefore particularly honored to receive this professorship named after him," said Ooguri.
Past holders of the title include Alessandra Buonanno (Dirac Medalist), Viatcheslav Mukhanov (Dirac Medalist), and Gerardus 't Hooft (Nobel Laureate).
A prize giving ceremony will be held in October this year during the Korean Physical Society fall meeting, where Ooguri will also make the opening plenary talk.
About Hirosi Ooguri
Hirosi Ooguri is Director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) at the University of Tokyo, and the Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology. Ooguri received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Tokyo in 1989 and has held academic positions at the University of Tokyo, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the University of Chicago, Kyoto University, and the University of California at Berkeley, before joining California Institute of Technology in 2000. Ooguri became a principal investigator at the Kavli IPMU in 2007, and later became Director in 2018. He was named the Founding Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics in 2014. Ooguri was President of the Aspen Center for Physics from 2016 – 2019, and is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Among his prizes and honors, he is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Simons Investigator, and the recipient of a Medal of Honor by the Japanese government.