Richard Palais

Richard Palais (right) and Chuu-Lian Terng (wife) in Oberwolfach, 2010

Richard Sheldon Palais (born May 22, 1931) is a mathematician working in geometry who introduced the Principle of Symmetric Criticality, the Mostow–Palais theorem, the Lie–Palais theorem, the Morse–Palais lemma, and the Palais–Smale compactness condition.

From 1965 to 1967 Palais was a Sloan Fellow. In 1970 he was an invited speaker (Banach manifolds of fiber bundle sections) at the ICM in Nice. From 1965 to 1982 he was an editor for the Journal of Differential Geometry and from 1966 to 1969 an editor for the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. In 2010 he received a Lester R. Ford Award.[1] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[2]

He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1956 under the joint supervision of Andrew M. Gleason and George Mackey.[3]

His doctoral students include Edward Bierstone, Leslie Lamport, Jill P. Mesirov, Chuu-lian Terng, and Karen Uhlenbeck.[3]

Selected publications



A nearly complete list of all papers authored or co-authored by Richard Palais is available for downloading as PDF files at


External links

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