Technical Fellow & Managing Director
Microsoft Research Station Q
Michael Freedman is a Microsoft Technical Fellow and is Director of Station Q, a Microsoft Research lab located on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus within the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. His work at Microsoft has explored the interface of quantum computation, solid state physics, and quantum topology.
Before joining Microsoft Research and becoming director of Station Q, Freedman was Charles Lee Powell Professor of Mathematics at UCSD. In an earlier career, he solved the long-standing Poincare conjecture in four dimensions, for which he received the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. Freedman has received numerous other awards and honors including the Veblen prize, a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His main research interest is topological states of matter and the construction of mathematical models which illuminate these.
He received his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1973 for his doctoral dissertation titled Codimension-Two Surgery. After graduating, Freedman was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley from 1973 until 1975, when he became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton. In 1976 he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He spent the year 1980/81 at IAS, returning to UCSD, where in 1982 he was promoted to professor. He was appointed the Charles Lee Powell chair of mathematics at UCSD in 1985.