David Eisenbud received his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1970 at the University of Chicago under Saunders MacLane and Chris Robson, and was on the faculty at Brandeis University before coming to Berkeley, where he became Professor of Mathematics in 1997. He served as Director of MSRI from 1997 to 2007, and again from 2013 to the present; in between he initiated the Mathematics and Physical Sciences program at the Simons Foundation. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Bonn, and Paris. Eisenbud served as Vice President for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences at the Simons Foundation from 2009-2012, while maintaining some of his activities at Berkeley.
Eisenbud served as President of the American Mathematical Society from 2003 to 2005. He is currently a member of the Board of the Simons Foundation. He is Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Algebra and Number Theory, which he helped found in 2006, and serves on several other editorial boards.
Eisenbud has been a member of the Board of Mathematical Sciences and their Applications of the National Research Council, and a member of the US National Committee of the International Mathematical Union. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he received the Steele Prize for Exposition of the American Mathematical Society for his book “Commutative Algebra with a View Toward Algebraic Geometry.”
The research areas in which Eisenbud has worked include commutative and non-commutative algebra, algebraic geometry and topology, and computer methods. He is a member of the group developing the computer algebra system Macaulay2. His major research contributions have been focused on the study of algebraic curves and their moduli, and in the commutative algebra and algebraic geometry related to free resolutions.