Dr. Irwin Kra is the Founding Executive Director of Math for America, serving from 2004 to July 2008, after a long and distinguished career as a mathematician at Stony Brook University. Born in Poland in 1937, he received his B.S. from the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn in 1960 and his Masters and Ph.D. from Columbia in 1964 and 1966 respectively. He was a C.L.E. Moore Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1966 to 1968. While at Stony Brook, Dr. Kra served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics from 1975 to 1981 and 1984 to 1989, and Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics from 1991 to 1996. He is now Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Kra has been a visiting professor at a number of venues, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Perugia in Italy, the University of Santiago de Chile and Tohoku University in Japan. His honors include being named a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow from 1963 to 1966, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow from 1972 to 1973, an Advisory Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai in 1987, and a Member of the Advisory Committee at the Center for Advanced Studies in Mathematics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel in 2001.
His research area is complex analysis, which includes the study of non-Euclidean geometry, a branch of geometry used in relativity and, more recently, in string theory physics. His latest work (with H.M. Farkas of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) involves applications of analysis to combinatorics and number theory. He has served on the Council and Executive Committee of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), where he was also The Managing Editor of the Proceedings.
Dr. Kra lives with his wife in Setauket, NY and is the father of three grown children, Douglas, Bryna and Gabriel, who live in the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco areas, respectively. He is also the proud grandfather of seven.