Dennis DeTurck

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Dennis M. DeTurck (born July 15, 1954) is an American mathematician known for his work in partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry, in particular contributions to the theory of the Ricci flow and the prescribed Ricci curvature problem. He first used the DeTurck trick to give an alternative proof of the short time existence of the Ricci flow, which has found other uses since then.


DeTurck received a B.S. (1976) from Drexel University. He received an M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1980) in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. His Ph.D. supervisor was Jerry Kazdan.[1]


DeTurck is currently Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2005 and Faculty Director of Riepe College House.[2] In 2002, DeTurck won the Haimo Award from the Mathematical Association of America for his teaching.[3] Despite being recognized for excellence in teaching, he has been criticized for his belief that fractions are "as obsolete as Roman numerals" and suggesting that they not be taught to younger students.[4]

In January 2012, he shared the Chauvenet Prize with three mathematical collaborators.[5][6] In 2012, he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[7]

Selected publications[edit]

  • DeTurck, Dennis M. (June 1981). "Existence of Metrics With Prescribed Ricci Curvature: Local Theory". Inventiones Mathematicae. 65 (2): 179–207. doi:10.1007/BF01389010.
  • DeTurck, Dennis M. (1983). "Deforming metrics in the direction of their Ricci tensors". Journal of Differential Geometry. 18 (1): 157–162. doi:10.4310/jdg/1214509286. Archived from the original on 2019-05-30. (explains the DeTurck trick; also see the improved version)


  1. ^ Dennis DeTurck at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "House Staff, Riepe College House, U. of Penn". Archived from the original on 2012-11-14.
  3. ^ "Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award". The Mathematical Association of America. 2007-04-10. Archived from the original on 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
  4. ^ Milford, Maureen (2007-12-26). "Educators divided by fractions debate". The News Journal. Philadelphia. Archived from the original on 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2007-12-26. A few years ago, Dennis DeTurck, an award-winning professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, stood at an outdoor podium on campus and proclaimed "Down with fractions!"
  5. ^ Baillie, Katherine Unger (January 30, 2012). "Penn Mathematicians Win 2012 Chauvenet Prize". Penn Today. University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019.
  6. ^ DeTurck, Dennis; Gluck, Herman; Pomerleano, Daniel; Vela-Vick, Shea (2007). "The Four Vertex Theorem and Its Converse". Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 54 (2): 192–207.
  7. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-10.

External links[edit]