Harry Kesten

Harry Kesten, 1970.

Harry Kesten (19 November 1931, Germany) is an American mathematician best known for his work in probability, most notably on random walks and percolation theory.


Kesten grew up in the Netherlands, where he moved with his parents in 1933 to escape the Nazis. He received his Ph.D. in 1958 at Cornell University under supervision of Mark Kac. He was an instructor at Princeton University and the Hebrew University before returning to Cornell where he is now professor emeritus of mathematics.

Mathematical work

Kesten's work includes a number of fundamental contributions, including the following.

Awards and honors

Kesten was a Guggenheim fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, received the Brouwer Medal in 1981, the George Pólya Prize from the SIAM in 1994 and the Steele Prize[12] for Lifetime Achievement from the AMS in 2001. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences (since 1983) and a correspondent member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[13] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[14]

Selected works

See also


  1. Harry Kesten, Symmetric random walks on groups. Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 92 1959 336--354.
  2. Hillel Furstenberg and Harry kesten, Products of random matrices, Ann. Math. Statist. 31 (1960), 457–469.
  3. Harry Kesten, On the number of self-avoiding walks. J. Mathematical Phys. 4 1963 960--969.
  4. Harry Kesten, On the number of self-avoiding walks. II. J. Mathematical Phys. 5 1964 1128--1137.
  5. Harry Kesten (1966). "On a conjecture of Erdős and Szüsz related to uniform distribution mod 1". Acta Arith. 12: 193–212.
  6. Harry Kesten, The critical probability of bond percolation on the square lattice equals 1/2. Comm. Math. Phys. 74 (1980), no. 1, 41--59.
  7. Harry Kesten, Scaling relations for 2D-percolation. Comm. Math. Phys. 109 (1987), no. 1, 109--156.
  8. Harry Kesten (1982), Percolation Theory for Mathematicians
  9. Harry Kesten, How long are the arms in DLA? J. Phys. A 20 (1987), no. 1, L29--L33.
  10. Harry Kesten and Vladas Sidoravicius, The spread of a rumor or infection in a moving population. Ann. Probab. 33 (2005), no. 6, 2402–2462.
  11. Harry Kesten and Vladas Sidoravicius, A shape theorem for the spread of an infection. Ann. of Math. (2) 167 (2008), no. 3, 701–766.
  12. 2001 Steele Prizes, Volume 48, Number 4, Notices of the AMS, April 2001.
  13. "H. Kesten". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  14. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-27.
  15. Wierman, John (1984). "Review: Percolation theory for mathematicians, by Harry Kesten" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 11 (2): 404–409. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1984-15331-x.

External links

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