|Born||8 November 1948|
London, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||abc conjecture|
|Awards||Humboldt Prize (1991) Fellow of the Royal Society (2005)Member of the Academia Europaea (2014)|
|Institutions||University of Basel|
|Doctoral advisor||Alan Baker|
|Doctoral students||Philipp Habegger Paula Tretkoff|
David William Masser (born 8 November 1948)is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Basel. He is known for his work in transcendental number theory, Diophantine approximation, and Diophantine geometry. With Joseph Oesterlé, Masser formulated the abc conjecture which has been called "the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis".
Masser was born on 8 November 1948 in London, England.He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a B.A. (Hons) in 1970. In 1974, he obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, with a doctoral thesis under the supervision of Alan Baker titled Elliptic Functions and Transcendence.
Masser was a Lecturer at the University of Nottingham from 1973 to 1975, before spending the 1975-1976 year as a Research Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.He returned to the University of Nottingham to serve as a Lecturer from 1976 to 1979 and then as a Reader from 1979 to 1983. He was a Professor at the University of Michigan from 1983 to 1992. He then moved to the Mathematics Institute at the University of Basel and became emeritus there in 2014.
Masser's research focuses on transcendental number theory, Diophantine approximation, and Diophantine geometry.
With Joseph Oesterlé in the 1980s, Masser formulated the abc conjecture, which has been called "the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis".The abc conjecture originated as the outcome of attempts by Oesterlé and Masser to understand the Szpiro conjecture about elliptic curves.
Masser was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Warsaw in 1983.In 1991, he received the Humboldt Prize. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005. In 2014, he was elected as a Member of the Academia Europaea.
The abc conjecture is a conjecture in number theory, first proposed by Joseph Oesterlé (1988) and David Masser (1985). It is stated in terms of three positive integers, a, b and c that are relatively prime and satisfy a + b = c. If d denotes the product of the distinct prime factors of abc, the conjecture essentially states that d is usually not much smaller than c. In other words: if a and b are composed from large powers of primes, then c is usually not divisible by large powers of primes. A number of famous conjectures and theorems in number theory would follow immediately from the abc conjecture or its versions. Goldfeld (1996) described the abc conjecture as "the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis".
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