The University of Tartu has conferred the degree of Honorary Doctor of Mathematical Physics on Professor Richard Kerner for his long-term successful cooperation with the mathematicians and physicists of the University of Tartu and for integrating them into the international research community.
Richard Kerner was born on 3 January 1943 in Poland. From 1968, his scientific and teaching career was connected with the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris (currently Sorbonne University), where he was the director of the Laboratory of Gravitation and Relativistic Cosmology in 1990–2001. In 1998 he was elected a member of the university’s research council. He is professor emeritus of Sorbonne University and has held the position of the research secretary of the French Academy of Sciences.
Richard Kerner is a distinguished mathematical physicist. In his research, he has contributed to various areas of mathematical physics, for example gravitational theories, calibration field theory, supersymmetrical field theories, noncommutative geometry and the theory of glasses. Professor Kerner uses modern differential geometry and algebraic methods in his research, and besides applying them, he actively develops new mathematical models and structures necessary for theoretical physics. For example, his original approach to the quark theory and the geometry of Minkowski space is based on new types of ternary algebras that he introduced.
Richard Kerner has authored more than two hundred scientific publications and several monographs on mathematical physics. In 1991 the French Academy of Sciences awarded him with the Alexandre Joannidès Prize for his achievements in mathematical physics. Kerner has worked as a visiting professor at Utrecht University, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, and the Federal University of Espírito Santo in Vitória, Brazil. He is a member of editorial boards of several leading scientific journals, and participates in the organising committees of several mathematical physics conferences.
Over the years, Richard Kerner has worked together with many researchers of the University of Tartu, both from the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics and the Institute of Physics. In the course of the collaboration, he has visited Estonia more than ten times, delivered lectures to doctoral students of the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, and made speeches at conferences here and in the Academy of Sciences of Estonia. In the course of various collaborative doctoral programmes, Richard Kerner has dedicated a lot of time to working with doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers of the University of Tartu.