Curriculum Vitae of Gábor Lukács
- Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 20:57
I was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1982. When I was 8, my father and I immigrated to Israel, where I spent the next 9 years of my life.
Around age 11, I was declared a "math prodigy" for my interest in advanced mathematics, and provided with the freedom to study on my own while my schoolmates were attending their math classes. My rapid progress in math was made possible by the dedicated and skillful guidance of my father during the 1994-5 academic year, which I spent at home studying mathematics. Consequently, I passed the high-school matriculation examinations in mathematics when I was 12. I joined the undergraduate program in mathematics at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) a few months later, before my 13th birthday. I completed my undergraduate degree in 1998, and immediately enrolled in the Master's program, which I completed in 1999. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study at the Technion, where my professors provided me with mathematical foundations far broader than the typical curriculum of North American universities. They set the bar very high for me, in both research and teaching.
After completing my Master's, I headed to Toronto, where I was admitted into the PhD program in mathematics at York University. I was 16 at the time, and moving to a new continent and culture by myself appeared an exciting adventure. Little did I know that Canada would become home for me a few years later.
The most important figure in shaping a young scientist is a good PhD supervisor. I did not have a good one—I had an outstanding one. Walter Tholen, with his silver glasses and light blue eyes, reminded me of Justus, the children's favourite teacher from The Flying Classroom. Although I always liked topological algebra, an area at the crossroads between topology and algebra, I had not considered conducting research in this field until Fall 2000, when I took a course with Walter Tholen on topological groups. In November 2000, he gave me a problem to think about. A week or two later, I came back with ideas on how to approach the problem, and started to work on it. Needless to say, after completing the course, I asked Professor Tholen to be my PhD supervisor, and he kindly agreed. The problem that he gave me was the "problem of c-compactness," and it became the focal point of my dissertation.
I completed my PhD in 2003, at the age of 20, and then left for Europe to take up an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship at Universität Bremen, Germany, where I spent 15 months.
In September 2004, I became a Canadian Permanent Resident, and in January 2005, I returned to Canada to take up a two-year Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Dalhousie is ranked as one of the best places to work in academia, and its Department of Mathematics and Statistics was no exception in this regard. The time I spent in Halifax was the happiest and most productive period of my career, and leaving there felt like leaving home.
From 2006 to 2011, I was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Manitoba. In 2007, I also joined St. John's College, first as a visiting fellow, and from 2008 to 2011 as a senior fellow. I cherished being at St. John's College for its intellectually stimulating atmosphere, the diversity of the fellows' disciplines, and the sense of community, respect, and tolerance that it offers.
In January 2012, I returned to Halifax, where I have been working on numerous research projects in Mathematics with local and international collaborators, but without any formal affiliation with a university.