John C. Baez
John Carlos Baez
June 12, 1961
San Francisco, California, United States
|Education||Princeton University (A.B.)|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.)
Yale University (post-doctoral research)
|Awards||Levi L. Conant Prize (2013)|
|Fields||Mathematics, mathematical physics|
|Institutions||University of California, Riverside|
|Thesis||Conformally Invariant Quantum Fields (1986)|
|Doctoral advisor||Irving Segal|
|Doctoral students||Alissa Crans|
John Carlos Baez (//; born June 12, 1961) is an American mathematical physicist and a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in Riverside, California. He has worked on spin foams in loop quantum gravity, applications of higher categories to physics, and applied category theory.
Baez is also the author of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, an irregular column on the internet featuring mathematical exposition and criticism. He started This Week's Finds in 1993 for the Usenet community, and it now has a following in its new form, the blog "Azimuth". This Week's Finds anticipated the concept of a personal weblog. Additionally, Baez is known on the World Wide Web as the author of the crackpot index.
Baez was born in San Francisco, California. He graduated with an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1982 after completing a senior thesis, titled "Recursivity in quantum mechanics", under the supervision of John P. Burgess. In 1986, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a Doctor of Philosophy under the direction of Irving Segal.
Baez was a post-doctoral researcher at Yale University. Since 1989, he has been a faculty member at UC Riverside. From 2010 to 2012, he took a leave of absence to work at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore and has since worked there in the summers.
Baez's research includes work on spin foams in loop quantum gravity. He also worked on applications of higher categories to physics, such as the cobordism hypothesis. Later in his career, he worked on applied category theory, including network theory.
Baez won the 2013 Levi L. Conant Prize for his expository paper with John Huerta, "The algebra of grand unified theories". He was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, in the 2022 class of fellows, "for contributions to higher category theory and mathematical physics, and for popularization of these subjects".
Baez runs the blog "Azimuth", where he writes about a variety of topics ranging from This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics to the current focus, combating climate change and various other environmental issues.
Baez is also co-founder of the n-Category Café (or n-Café), a group blog concerning higher category theory and its applications, as well as its philosophical repercussions. The founders of the blog are Baez, David Corfield and Urs Schreiber, and the list of blog authors has extended since. The n-Café community is associated with the nLab wiki and nForum forum, which now run independently of n-Café. It is hosted on The University of Texas at Austin's official website.
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