|Born||April 7, 1955|
|Died||December 16, 2014 59)(aged|
|Alma mater||University of California|
|Known for||Cochran–Orr–Teichner (solvable) filtration|
|Doctoral advisor||Robion Kirby|
|Doctoral students||Shelly Harvey|
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.
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 S5).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.
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.
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 Societyin 2014, for contributions to low-dimensional topology, specifically knot and link concordance, and for mentoring numerous junior mathematicians.
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