The model theory expert joins the university from UCLA.
Artem Chernikov joined the University of Maryland's Department of Mathematics on August 1, 2023, as a professor and holder of the Michael Brin Endowed Chair in Mathematics. He joined UMD from UCLA.
“I’m excited to join UMD,” Chernikov said. “Maryland has a long tradition in model theory, a subject experiencing tremendous growth and deepening connections to other areas of mathematics in recent decades. The excellent mathematical logic group, the significant expansion of the department along with the opening of the Brin Mathematics Research Center, and very motivated students all make UMD a great place to be right now. I particularly enjoy the collaborative aspect of research in mathematics, and the resources provided by the Brin Chair will help increase the visibility of the group, bring young talent as postdocs and visitors, and establish closer ties with the other logic groups on the East Coast.”
UMD Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Michael Brin and his wife Eugenia, a retired NASA scientist, established the endowed position.
“Endowed chairs are among the most generous and critical gifts in higher education and serve as vital support of academic excellence,” said Amitabh Varshney, dean of UMD's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). “As the holder of the Michael Brin Endowed Chair in Mathematics, Artem Chernikov will serve as a model for outstanding research and teaching.”
Chernikov’s research interests lie in a branch of mathematical logic called model theory, which focuses on how mathematical objects can be defined in formal language and what structural properties this imposes. His foundational work in pure model theory expanded the scope of Shelah classification in several directions, for NIP structures and tree properties in particular. He also worked with numerous collaborators on connections to topological dynamics (proving the Ellis group conjecture) and combinatorics (developing tame hypergraph regularity and recognizing algebraic structures from questions in Erdős-style geometry), computer science (proving a model theoretic counterpart of Warmuth conjecture on compression schemes) and valuation theory.
Chernikov, who grew up in Russia, was educated in several countries. He received his M.A. in 2009 from Humboldt University in Berlin and his Ph.D. in 2012 from Université Claude Bernard–Lyon 1, in France. Following postdoctoral positions at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Université Paris Diderot–Paris 7, he moved to the U.S. in 2015 to become an assistant professor at UCLA.
“I grew up in a town above the polar circle, but mathematics allowed me to travel all over the world for research and conferences, from South Africa to South Korea and beyond,” Chernikov said. “In my interactions with students, and even through public outreach, I try to showcase the beauty of mathematics.”
He rose from assistant professor in 2015 to professor in 2022 and was named director of the UCLA Logic Center.
Chernikov has received many awards, including a Simons Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship and the Sacks Prize (for the best doctoral dissertation of the year in mathematical logic around the world).
He teaches courses on model theory, mathematical logic, combinatorics and linear algebra; has supervised 19 graduate and undergraduate students and postdocs; and has served on 17 Ph.D. student thesis committees. Chernikov has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and given over 140 invited conference and seminar talks.
“Maryland has a long history of being a powerhouse in mathematical logic. The appointment of Artem Chernikov as Brin Chair solidifies the standing of our logic group as one of the best logic groups in the country,” said Doron Levy, chair of UMD’s Department of Mathematics.