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Craig Tracy

American mathematician
The basics
Occupation Mathematician Educator
Country United States of America
Date of birth London, Greater London, London, England
Education University of Missouri, Stony Brook University
Authority ISNI id VIAF id Library of congress id
The details

Craig Arnold Tracy (born September 9, 1945) is an American mathematician, known for his contributions to mathematical physics and probability theory.

Born in United Kingdom, he moved as infant to Missouri where he grew up and obtained a B.Sc. in physics from University of Missouri (1967). He studied as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the Stony Brook University where he obtained a Ph.D. on the thesis entitled Spin-Spin Scale-Functions in the Ising and XY-Models (1973) advised by Barry M. McCoy, in which (also jointly with Tai Tsun Wu and Eytan Barouch) he studied Painlevé functions in exactly solvable statistical mechanical models.

He then was on the faculty of Dartmouth College (1978–84) before joining University of California, Davis (1984) where he is now a distinguished professor. With Harold Widom he worked on the asymptotic analysis of Toeplitz determinants and their various operator theoretic generalizations. This work gave them both the George Pólya and the Norbert Wiener prizes, and the Tracy–Widom distribution is named after them.


  • Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1967–68.
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship 1991
  • 2002 Pólya Prize (SIAM) shared with Harold Widom
  • Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2006
  • Norbert Wiener Prize 2007, shared with Harold Widom.
  • Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, 2012
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