Director of the Data Science Initiative, Professor of Mathematics


Jeffrey Brock's research focuses on low-dimensional geometry and topology, particularly on spaces with hyperbolic geometry or negative curvature. His joint work with R. Canary and Y. Minsky resulted in a solution to the 'ending lamination conjecture' of W. Thurston, restulting in the geometric classification theorem for hyperbolic 3-dimensional manifolds that are topologically finite in terms of certain pieces of mathematical DNA called laminations.

More recently, he has worked to understand applications of geometry and topology to the structure of massive and complex data sets and the risks and implications of the increasing use of 'black box' algorithms in science and society.

He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Yale University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley, where he studied under Curtis McMullen. After holding postdoctoral positions at Stanford University and the University of Chicago, he came to Brown as an associate professor. He was awarded the Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship to visit the University of Texas, and has had continuous National Science Foundation support since receiving his Ph.D. In 2008 he was awarded a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and he was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. 

He was chair of the Mathematics Department from 2013-2017, and was the founding Director of Brown's Data Science Initiative ( launched in 2016. He is also the lead PI on Brown's NSF TRIPODS Institute grant, to advance Transcisciplinary Research In Proinciples of Data Science.

He maintains an active interest in music performance; he was the founding bassist of the Vijay Iyer Trio, recording on Iyer's first two CDs, Memorophilia and Architextures. He and his wife Sarah live in Barrington, RI, with their two boys Elliot and Sam and their daughter Nora.

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