Karen E. Smith

Department Chair, Mathematics
William Fulton Distinguished University Professor

Department of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science and Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Karen E. Smith is a fellow of the American Math Society, and a member of the National Academy of Science as well as the American Academy of Arts and Science. She has been a professor at the University of Michigan since 1996. She spent considerable time at MIT as a Moore Instructor and Assistant Professor, and still regularly spends time at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

At Michigan, Professor Smith now serves as department chair. Previously, she was heavily involved in the graduate program, serving as Doctoral Committee chair and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for close to two decades. She is still actively involved in helping graduate students explore non-academic careers, for example, through the Erdös Institute.

Smith’s mathematical work is in algebra, particularly algebraic geometry and prime characteristic commutative algebra. See Smith’s research.

Working with students and postdocs is her favorite part of the job.


If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please don’t hesitate to contact.


Department of Mathematics
University of Michigan
3074 East Hall
530 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109



(734) 763-5048