Brief biosketch

Skip Garibaldi is a mathematician known for his work on algebraic groups, especially exceptional groups such as E8; the book Cohomological invariants in Galois cohomology with Alexander Merkurjev and Jean-Pierre Serre; and his work on the lottery, which led to changes in state policy and arrests.  Millions of people have seen him talk about his work on 20/20, CNN, and Fox & Friends, and he is a consultant for and part of a museum exhibit about mathematics that has been traveling the country since opening at the Smithsonian in spring 2012.

He has been associate director of the Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics at UCLA; Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at Emory University; a postdoc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH); held visiting positions at Université d’Artois and Université Paris-Nord in France; and been a Gambrinus Fellow at TU Dortmund.  In 2014, he was appointed to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board by the Secretary of Defense.

Awards, special lectures, etc.

  • 2015: Prosser Lecture at Dartmouth
  • 2014: Plenary address at AMS Sectional Meeting, southeastern section
  • 2014: Plenary address at MAA Sectional Meeting, Pacific northwest section
  • 2014: Norbert Wiener Lectures at Tufts University
  • 2012: Emory Williams Award (Emory University’s highest award for teaching)
  • 2011: Lester R. Ford Award from the MAA
  • 2010: “Outstanding alumnus” for Purdue University Department of Mathematics
  • 2010: Only speaker at the MAA State Dinner for Alabama
  • 2009: Winship Distinguished Research Professorship at Emory University
  • 2006: Only speaker at the MAA State Dinner for Georgia
  • 1998: UCSD Department of Mathematics graduate teaching award


  • Publications
  • Funding: My research has benefited from the support of the National Science Foundation, the Charles T. Winship Fund, and the National Security Agency.
  • Talks in the future and recent past

Books, lecture notes, etc.


Current editorial and advisory boards


My current position has no classroom teaching.  At Emory University, I taught 3 semester-courses per year, on a wide variety of subjects, ranging in level from freshman calculus to courses for advanced PhD students.  The most popular of these was the freshman course on cryptology that I designed.  For several years, I also co-taught the senior course in mathematical economics.

Editorial work

Canadian Journal of Mathematics

  • Journal: Canadian Journal of Mathematics, associate editor, 2012-2016.
  • Journal: Canadian Math Bulletin, associate editor, 2012-2016.
  • Journal: Extra volume of Documenta Mathematica, 2015.
  • Book: Quadratic forms, linear algebraic groups, and cohomology, ISBN 978-1-4419-6210-2, Springer, 2010.

Other service

This is an abbreviated list.

  • Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, member, 2014-2018.
  • AMS‑ASA-MAA‑SIAM Joint Data Committee, AMS representative, 2017-2020
  • Member of various prize committees for the MAA and Canadian Math Society, 2012-2016.
  • DARPA Defense Science Study Group, member, 2012-2013.
  • American Mathematical Society Committee on Meetings and Conferences, member-at-large, 2008-2011.
  • Mathematical Association of America Departmental Liaison, 2004-2012.
  • For Emory College: member of Committee on Academic Standards, 2009-2012.
  • For Emory College: member of Office of Undergraduate Education faculty advisory committee, 2009.
  • For Emory Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: scholarship committee, 2009, 2010.
  • For Emory Department of Math & CS: undergraduate committee, 2003-2012.

Conferences organized

  1. The use of linear algebraic groups in geometry and number theory at the Banff International Research Station, 13-18 September 2015.
  2. Numerous conferences totalling thousands of participants at IPAM at UCLA, from 3-day workshops such as Mathematical challenges in ophthalmology to 14-week programs such as Broad perspectives and new directions in mathematical finance
  3. Special session “Linear algebraic groups: their arithmetic, geometry, and representations” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston, 4-7 January 2012.
  4. “Ramification in algebra and geometry” at Emory University, 16-20 May 2011. 
This conference had 100+ participants.
    Photos: (Conference photo) (poster) (videos on iTunesU)
  5. Brauer Group in Israel at Kibbutz Ketura, Arava, Israel, 5-10 January 2010.
    Photos: (in the kibbutz) (at Petra)
  6. Special session at the AMS Sectional Meeting in Raleigh, NC, 4-5 April 2009.
    Photos: (Conference photo)
  7. Quadratic forms, linear algebraic groups and cohomology in Hyderabad, India, 30 December 2008 – 4 January 2009.
    Photos: (Conference photo) (Special edition notepad)
    You can buy the conference proceedings.
  8. 8th Brauer Group Meeting in Pingree Park, Colorado, 29 June-4 July 2008.
    Photos: (Conference photo) (poster)
  9. Day of arithmetic at Emory University, 19 April 2008.
  10. Linear algebraic groups and cohomology at Emory University, 16-20 May 2007.
    Photos: (Conference photo) (poster)
  11. Special session Algebras, forms, and algebraic groups at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, January 2002.
  12. One-day satellite conference in algebra associated with the large AMS Conference Mathematical Challenges of the 21st Century at UCLA, August 2000.

Former group members

Name (degree year, first placement)

  • Hernando Bermudez (PhD 2014, Microsoft)
    Thesis: Linear preserver problems and cohomological invariants (parts 123)
    Awards: Arts & Sciences Fellowship (2009-2014)
  • Chen Chen (Honors BA 2012, Deutsche Bank)
    Awards: Deborah Jackson Award (2011, 2012)
  • Richard Oh (Honors BS 2010, math PhD program at University of South Carolina)
  • Fred Helenius (PhD 2009, Emory University)
    ThesisFreudenthal triple systems via root system methods
    Awards: George W. Woodruff Fellowship (2004-2009)
  • Audrey Malagon (PhD 2009, Mercer University)
    ThesisKilling forms of Lie algebras
    Awards: George W. Woodruff Fellowship (2004-09), Dean’s Teaching Fellowship (2008-09), Marshall Hall award (2009)
  • Michael P. Carr (MS & honors BS 2004)
    AwardsTrevor Evans Award (2004), Putnam competition top 15 (2002)
    PublicationGeometries, the principle of duality, and algebraic groups
  • Andy Nichols (MS 2004)
  • Jared Phillips (MS 2003)

This list does not include the numerous students for whom I was only a member of their thesis committee.