Bruce Reznick

Bruce Reznick (born February 3, 1953 in New York City) is an American mathematician long on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He is a prolific researcher[1] noted for his contributions to number theory and the combinatorial-algebraic-analytic investigations of polynomials.[2] In July 2019, to mark his 66th birthday, a day long symposium "Bruce Reznick 66 fest: A mensch of Combinatorial-Algebraic Mathematics" was held at the University of Bern, Switzerland.[3]

Bruce Reznick
BornFebruary 3, 1953 (1953-02-03) (age 66)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology
Known forNon-negative polynomials
AwardsFellow of the American Mathematical Society (2013)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Doctoral advisorPer Enflo

Education and career

Reznick got his B.S. in 1973 from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in 1976 from Stanford University under Per Enflo for the thesis "Banach Spaces Which Satisfy Linear Identities".[2][4]

He was a Sloan Fellow (1983–1986) and is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).[2] From 1983 to 1985 he was on the Putnam Competition Preparation Committee of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). As an undergraduate he had been a member of the first place team in the Putnam Competition twice, also being ranked twice in the top ten as an individual [2]

Reznick is a frequent author on matters relating to teaching and mentoring, and the overall training of graduate students. He wrote the popular article "Chalking It Up: Advice to a New TA".[5]


Reznick has done a systematic analysis of the representation of real forms of even degree as sums of powers of linear forms. This work was described in his monograph Sum of Even Powers of Real Linear Forms (Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society, 1992)[6]

Reznick specializes in combinatorial methods in algebra, analysis and number theory, often involving polynomials, polytopes and integer sequences.[7] He is known for his contributions to the study of sums of squares and positivity of polynomials. In joint work with M.D. Choi and T. Y. Lam, he developed the Gram matrix method for writing real polynomials as sums of squares; this method has important applications to other areas of mathematics including optimization.[8]


Selected publications

  • "Extremal psd forms with few terms", Duke Math. J., 45 (1978), 363–374 (MR 58.511)
  • (With M. D. Choi, Z. D. Dai and T. Y. Lam) "The pythagoras number of some affine algebras and local algebras", J. Reine Angew. Math., 336 (1982), 45–82 (MR 84f.12012).
  • "Sums of even powers of real linear forms", Mem. Amer. Math. Soc., Volume 96, Number 463, March, 1992 (MR 93h.11043).
  • (With M. D. Choi and T. Y. Lam) "Sums of squares of real polynomials". Proc. Sympos. Pure Math., 58.2 (1995), 103–126 (MR 96f:11058).
  • "Uniform denominators in Hilbert's Seventeenth Problem", Math. Z., 220 (1995), 75–98 (MR 96e:11056).
  • "Some concrete aspects of Hilbert's 17th problem", in Real Algebraic Geometry and Ordered Structures, (C. N. Delzell, J.J. Madden eds.) Cont. Math., 253 (2000), 251–272 (MR 2001i:11042).
  • (With V. Powers, C. Scheiderer and F. Sottile) "A new approach to Hilbert's theorem on ternary quartics", C. R. Math. Acad Sci. Paris, 339 (2004), 617–620, (MR2005i:11051, arXiv – math.AG/0405475).
  • (with J. Rouse) "On the sums of two cubes", Int. J. Number Theory, 7 (2011), 1863–1882, MR2854220.
  • (With N. Tokcan) "Binary forms with three different relative ranks", Proc. Amer. Math. Soc., 145 (2017), 5169–5177.


  1. Research Publications of Bruce Reznick Updated June 29, 2019
  2. Biographical Sketch of Bruce Reznick
  3. Bruce Reznick 66 fest: A mensch of Combinatorial-Algebraic Mathematics Department of Mathematics, UC Davis
  4. Bruce Arie Reznick at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. Resources for Preparing and Supporting Teachers of Undergraduate Mathematics: Handbooks by Teri Jo Murphy
  6. Sum of Even Powers of Real Linear Forms by Bruce Reznick, 30 Jul 1992
  7. The secret lives of polynomial identities Speaker Bruce Reznick, Claremont Center for the Mathematical Sciences, September 21, 2011
  8. Google Scholar Citations Bruce Reznick, Professor of Mathematics, University of Illinois
  9. Reznick, Bruce, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – 2013, Inaugural Class of Fellows List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society
  10. Math and Hollywood mix it up at MIT MIT OpenCourseWare News and Information, June 1, 2016
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