Brief biosketch

Skip Garibaldi is Director of the Center for Communications Research, La Jolla, a division of IDA.  As a mathematician, he is 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 ABC World News, 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.

Awards, special lectures, etc.

  • 2020: AMS-MAA invited address, Joint Mathematics Meeting
  • 2019: Fellow of the American Mathematical Society
  • 2018: Air Force Commander’s Public Service AwardAir Force Commander's Public Service Award
  • 2018: Invited address at MAA Sectional Meeting, SoCal-Nevada section
  • 2017: Michael E. Moody Lecture at Harvey Mudd
  • 2015: Reese Prosser Lecture at Dartmouth
  • 2014: Invited address at AMS Sectional Meeting, southeastern section
  • 2014: Invited 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: Lecture series at Université d’Artois
  • 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.

Books, lecture notes, etc.

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.

  • National Academies/BMSA study “Illustrating the impact of mathematics”, member, 2019-2020.
  • US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, member, 2014-2018.
  • MAA Council on Meetings and Professional Development, 2017-2018.
  • Member of various speaker selection committees for national meetings of the AMS and MAA.
  • 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 for Emory University, 2004-2012.

Former group members

Name (degree year, first placement)

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