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Tim Cochran

Tim Cochran

American mathematician and educator
Tim Cochran
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American mathematician and educator
Was Mathematician Professor
From United States of America
Type Academia Mathematics
Gender male
Birth 7 April 1955, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 16 December 2014 (aged 59 years)
Star sign Aries
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
Severna Park High School
Fellow of the American Mathematical Society  
Peoplepill ID tim-cochran
The details (from wikipedia)


Thomas "Tim" Daniel Cochran (April 7, 1955 – December 16, 2014) was a professor of Mathematics at Rice University specializing in topology, especially low-dimensional topology, the theory of knots and links and associated algebra.

Education and career

Tim Cochran was a valedictorian for the Severna Park High School Class of 1973. Later, he was an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982 (Embedding 4-manifolds in S). He then returned to MIT as a C.L.E. Moore Postdoctoral Instructor from 1982 to 1984. He was an NSF postdoctoral fellow from 1985 to 1987. Following brief appointments at Berkeley and Northwestern University, he started at Rice University as an associate professor in 1990. He became a full professor at Rice University in 1998. He died unexpectedly, aged 59, on December 16, 2014, while on a year-long sabbatical leave supported by a fellowship from the Simons Foundation.

Research contributions

With his coauthors Kent Orr and Peter Teichner, Cochran defined the solvable filtration of the knot concordance group, whose lower levels encapsulate many classical knot concordance invariants.

Cochran was also responsible for naming the slam-dunk move for surgery diagrams in low-dimensional topology.

Awards and honors

While at Rice, he was named an Outstanding Faculty Associate (1992–93), and received the Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Rice Graduate Student Association (2014)

He was named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2014, for contributions to low-dimensional topology, specifically knot and link concordance, and for mentoring numerous junior mathematicians.

Selected publications

  • Four-manifolds which embed in R but not in R and Seifert manifolds for fibered knots, Inventiones Math. 77 (1984), 173–184
  • Geometric invariants of link cobordism, Commentarii Math. Helvetii 60 (1985), 291–311.
  • Derivatives of links: Massey products and Milnor's concordance invariants, Memoirs of Amer. Math. Soc. 84 no. 427 (1990)
  • Not all links are concordant to boundary links (with Kent Orr), Annals of Mathematics 138 (1993), 519–554.
  • Knot Concordance, Whitney Towers and L-signatures (with Kent Orr and Peter Teichner), Annals of Mathematics 157 (2003), 433–519.
  • Structure in the Classical Knot Concordance Group (with Kent Orr and Peter Teichner), Commentarii Mathematica 79, no. 1 (2004), 105–123.
  • Noncommutative Knot Theory, Algebraic and Geometric Topology 4 (2004), 347–398.
  • Knot Concordance and von Neumann rho invariants (with Peter Teichner), Duke Math. Journal, 137, no.2. (2007), 337–379.
  • Homology and Derived Series of Groups II: Dwyer's Theorem, (with Shelly Harvey), Geometry and Topology, 12(2008), 199–232.
  • Knot concordance and Higher-order Blanchfield duality (with Shelly Harvey and Constance Leidy), Geometry and Topology, 13 (2009), 1419–1482.
  • Primary decomposition and the fractal nature of knot concordance (with Shelly Harvey and Constance Leidy), Math. Annalen, 351 no. 2, 2011, 443–508.
  • Counterexamples to Kauffman's conjectures on slice knots (with Christopher Davis), Advances in Mathematics, to appear,
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Apr 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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