A mathematician very close to the IHES, which he has been visiting regularly for more than 25 years, Prof. Penner wanted to pay tribute to his partner who died in January 2018. “I am a great believer in the Institute’s mission and am pleased to have associated our names to the IHES,” said Robert Penner. “Even with her only brief glimpse of it, Lexy was dazzled that there could be such a place as the IHES and would be gratified with this association.”
The gift will endow an Associated Professorship of Mathematics at the Institute that will provide support for prominent scientists. Associated Professorship are a specific type of invitations of IHES large visitors program: Chair holders are nominated by the Scientific Council, and come to the IHES for at least three months each year over three consecutive years, benefiting from the outstanding research and living conditions offered at the Institute.
“We are very grateful to Bob for his generous donation. It enables the IHES to fulfill its mission to offer exceptional scientists a place where their research can flourish,” said Michael R. Douglas, Chairman and President of the Friends of IHES, Inc.
“This generous gift from Bob is also an important contribution to our ongoing fundraising campaign, and I express my deepest gratitude for his support” said Emmanuel Ullmo, Director of the IHES. “Having scientists supporting our campaign is very meaningful and encourages us to pursue our efforts to defend the importance of unconstrained research.”
The first chair holder of the Alexzandria Figueroa and Robert Penner Chair will be Prof. Joseph Ayoub from the University of Zurich. A specialist of Algebraic Geometry, which has a long tradition at the IHES, Ayoub will benefit from all aspects of the academic and community life, that are unique elements of being at the Institute, and will contribute to the scientific dynamism of the IHES.