Vladimir Touraev, a Russian high school math teacher in the mid-1970s who 30 years later would become the first named professor in the Indiana University Department of Mathematics, has been awarded over $2.7 million to establish a new mathematics laboratory in Russia.
The award -- one of 42 megagrants awarded by the Russian government this year to scientists from around the world to conduct research in the country -- will allow a recognized leader in the field of low-dimensional topology to establish a scientific center based in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The new center will include about 20 students and an equal number of experienced mathematicians.
Touraev will continue in his role as the Boucher Professor of Mathematics at IU, spending summers in Russia.
A permanent U.S. resident with a dual citizenship in Russia and France, where he worked for 17 years as research director with the French National Center of Scientific Research in Strasbourg, Touraev said the first person he invited to visit the new center was his former Ph.D. advisor Oleg Viro, a Russian topologist and professor at Stony Brook University who is also a senior researcher at Russia’s Steklov Institute of Mathematics, where Touraev received his Ph.D.