Michael Lacey graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and the University of Illinois in 1987 with a Ph.D. in mathematics as well under the mentorship of Walter Philipp.
He solved a problem concerning empirical characteristic functions and completed his thesis under Banach spaces, a complete normed vector space. Banach spaces were named after Stefan Banach, a Polish mathematician who studied the subject from 1920 to 1922.
From 1987 to 1989 be was an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina. Michael Lacey and his college mentor Walter Philipp gave proof of the central limit theorem during his time at the University of North Carolina.
From 1989 to 1996, Michael Lacey served as Assistant Professor at the University of Indiana out of Bloomington. He earned a fellowship with the National Science Foundation and studied the bilinear Hilbert transform.
This research earned him and Alberto Calderón a Salem Prize. The Salem Prize has been given to many scientists who eventually went on to earn a Fields Medal. In 2004, his work with Xiachun Li earned himself a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2012 he was made an American Mathematical Society fellow.
Since the year 1996, Michael Lacey has been with the Georgia Institute of Technology in a range of capacities from Associate Professor without tenure to now a Full Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty.
He has mentored dozens of students since 2001 during his time as a Full Professor at Georgia Tech.
In 2012 Michael Lacey was presented with the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Mentoring Award for his work mentoring some of the best Assistant Professors in the School of Mathematics at Georgia Tech.
He has mentored students from undergraduate to post-doctorate levels. Many of this students directly thank Professor Michael Lacey for their success.
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