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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2017/18 Prof. Dr. James McKernan

Prof. Dr. James McKernan

Every year, approximately 50 Fellows are invited to work on their projects at FRIAS for 2 to 12 months in an intellectually stimulating environment. Fellows that have already been at FRIAS before can return to FRIAS for 2 to 6 weeks within the framework of the Alumni Programme, for example in order to finish a project. Furthermore, junior and senior researchers are regularly invited as guest researchers.


Our Research Focus profited enormously from the international team of Fellows and guest researchers at FRIAS.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz, ERC Consolidator Grant 2015, Research Focus Quantum Transport 2014/15

University of California
Mathematics/Algebraic Geometry
External Senior Fellow
July - August 2014


James McKernan joined the UCSD mathematics faculty as professor in 2012, following faculty appointments at MIT, 2007-present, and UCSB 1195-2007.  He received his B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1985, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1991, under the direction of Joseph Harris.  He was subsequently appointed an instructor at the University of Utah and the University of Texas.  He was a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the Oklahoma State University from 1994-95. Professor McKernan's research interests are in algebraic geometry.

Professor McKernan holds a Charles Lee Powell Endowed Chair in Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego.  Before that he was the Norbert Wiener Professor of Mathematics (2009) at MIT.  He received the Clay Mathematics Research Award in 2007. With Christopher Hacon, he was awarded the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra by the AMS in 2009.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2011).


Selected Publications

  • Existence of minimal models for varieties of log general type. I, with C. Birkar, P. Cascini,
    C. Hacon, J. Amer. Math. Soc. 2010, Vol 23, no. 2. (405-468).
  • Existence of minimal models for varieties of log general type. II, with C. Hacon, J. Amer.
    Math. Soc. 2010, Vol 23, no. 2. (469-490).
  • Boundedness of pluricanonical maps, with C. Hacon, Inv. Math., October 2006, Vol 166, no 1. (1-25).
  • On Shokurov's rational connectedness conjecture, with C. Hacon, Duke Math. J. 2007, Vol
    138, no. 1. (119-136).
  • On the birational automorphisms of varieties of general type, with C. Hacon and C. Xu, Ann. of Math.,
    Ann. of Math. (2) 177 (2013), no. 3, 1077–1111.


FRIAS Research Project

The birational classification of algebraic varieties

Algebraic geometry is the study of systems of polynomial equations. The minimal model program is an ambitious program to find easy ways to present the solutions to polynomial equations.  The main goals of the project are to show that there are only finitely many types of Fano varieties in each dimension and to establish the existence of minimal models.