Jordan Ellenberg

Jordan Ellenberg

Jordan Ellenberg

Discovery Fellow, Professor, Mathematics, Optimization

Years Active



  • A.B., Mathematics summa cum laude, Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Mathematics, Harvard University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, MSRI


Jordan Ellenberg wrote a novel called The Grasshopper King, which came out in 2003 from Coffee House Press. Ellenberg also writes the “Do The Math” column in Slate, and has written articles on mathematical topics for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wired and The Believer. Currently he is writing a book in the general vein of “mathematical ideas that are useful to people who don’t do math for a living,” called How Not To Be Wrong, which will be published by Penguin Press in 2014.

Ellenberg used to live in Princeton, NJ; a popular feature of his old web page was How to Eat Dinner in Princeton. Warning: this page is accurate only up to August 2005.

Research Description

Jordan Ellenberg’s field is arithmetic algebraic geometry: specific interests include rational points on varieties, enumeration of number fields and other arithmetic objects, Galois representations attached to varieties and their fundamental groups, representation stability, the geometry of large data sets, non-abelian Iwasawa theory, pro-p group theory, automorphic forms, stable cohomology of moduli spaces, the complex of curves, Hilbert-Blumenthal abelian varieties, Q-curves, Serre’s conjecture, the ABC conjecture, and Diophantine problems related to all of the above. Ellenberg’s research here is partially supported by an NSF grant and a Romnes Faculty Fellowship. He is a co-organizer of the Wisconsin number theory seminar, the organizer of the interdisciplinary “Math And…” seminar, and PI on the NSF-RTG “Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory at the University of Wisconsin” grant.


  • Fellow of the American Mathematical Society – Inaugural class of Fellows, 2012.
  • AFOSR Grant, “Mathematical foundations of secure computing clouds,”2013-, one of 7 PIs
  • Discovery Fellow, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
  • NSF Grant DMS-1101267, “Geometric Analytic Number Theory.” Held 2011-2014
  • H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, 2010-11
    Five-year early career fellowship, awarded to six faculty members across UW-Madison
  • NSF Research Training Grant, Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory at the University of Wisconsin, $1.6m, held 2009-14, co-PI 2009-11, PI 2011-14.
  • University Housing Honored Instructor Fall 2009
  • NSF-CAREER Grant DMS-0448750, Rational points on varieties and non-abelian
    Galois groups Held 2005-2011
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship Awarded 2005
  • NSF Grant DMS-0401616 Held 2004-2005
  • NSA Young Investigator Grant Held 2001-2004
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow (1994{1997)
  • Department of Mathematics, Harvard University.
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (1991{92) Received national scholarship for undergraduate study of mathematics.
  • William Lowell Putnam Competition (1989{92) Placed in top six on national competition in 1990 and 1992, top ten in 1989 and 1991.
  • U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad (1989)Received 1st place.
  • International Mathematical Olympiad (1987{89) One of six members of U.S. team; received gold medal in 1987 and 1989, silver medal in 1988.

Selected Publications

  • Homological stability for Hurwitz spaces and the Cohen-Lenstra conejcture over function elds, II,” with A. Venkatesh and C. Westerland, arXiv:1212.0923, submitted.
  • FI-modules over Noetherian rings,” with T. Church, B. Farb, and R. Nagpal, arXiv:1210.1854,submitted.
  • Superstrong approximation for monodromy groups,” arXiv:1210.3757, submitted.
  • FI-Modules: a new approach to stability for Sn-representations,” with T. Church and B. Farb,arXiv:1204.4533, submitted.
  • Random Dieudonne modules, random p-divisible groups, and random curves over nite elds,”with B. Cais and D. Zureick-Brown, arXiv 1201.0822, to appear, J. Math. Inst. Jussieu.
  • Expander graphs, gonality, and variation of Galois representations, with C. Hall and E. Kowalski,arXiv 10098.3675, Duke Math J. 161 (7), pp. 1233{1275 (2012)
  • Arithmetic Veech sublattices of SL(2;Z),” with D.B.McReynolds, Duke Math J. 161 (3), pp.415{429 (2012)
  • Modeling lambda invariants by p-adic random matrices,” with S. Jain and A. Venkatesh, Comm Pure Appl. Math., vol 64, no. 9 (2011)
  • Statistics of number elds and function elds,” with A. Venkatesh, in Proceedings of the ICM, Hyderabad 2010
  • Homological stability for Hurwitz spaces and the Cohen-Lenstra conjecture over function elds,”with A. Venkatesh and C. Westerland, arXiv 0912.0325, submitted.