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The State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Jonathan D. Farley

Born: 1970; Birthplace: Rochester, New York

A.B. (Mathematics) Harvard University (1991); thesis: ; advisor: Garrett Birkhoff.
Ph.D. (Mathematics) Oxford University (1995)
thesis: ; advisor: H. A. Priestley

Current Research Interests: Lattice Theory and the Theory of Ordered Sets

Visiting Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University.

Dr. Farley started a company that applied mathematics in the hunt for terrorists - see interview with Farley at Fox . Hear the Air America interview and Tavis Smiley interview.

Farley started a company that does consulting for movies and
television shows that have a math or science component, such the 2005 CBS crime-drama NUMB3RS or the films GOOD WILL HUNTING and A BEUATIFUL MIND. See Hollywood Math and Science Film Consulting:

Harvard URL:

email: check URL

Phone: (617) 495-8477

Farley comes from an accomplished family. His father, a native of Guyana, holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics; his mother, who is Jamaican, has a Ph.D. in American history (I encountered her work on Africn American history before I knew of Farley) and is a Regent for the State of New York. Farley's three brothers are all Harvard graduates. (His brother Christopher John Farley is a senior editor and pop music critic for Time Magazine.)

Farley's heroes include the African military genius Hannibal, the West Indian psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, and Jesus.

In addition to his academic work, Farley has written for the hip-hop magazine The Source, the black women's magazine Essence, The Guardian (a major British newspaper), and Time Magazine On-Line. Ebony, the leading African-American magazine, named Farley a "Leader of the Future" in 2001, and Upscale Magazine ran a profile of him as well.

Jonathan David Farley graduated summa cum laude (and second in his class) with an A.B. (Mathematics) from Harvard University in 1991, where earned 29 A's and 3 A-'s His undergraduate thesis advisor was Prof. Garrett Birkhoff.

Farley won a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford University. In 1994 he was awarded Oxford University's Senior Mathematical Prize and Johnson Prize for his research. While in England, he won Oxford's highest mathematics awards, the Senior Mathematical Prize and Johnson Prize. He received his doctorate (D.Phil. - Mathematics) from Oxford University (England) in July, 1995.

From 1995 to 1997, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, California. The following is excerpted from the 1999 bi-monthly newsletter of the California Black Faculty and Staff Association.

Last summer he [Dr. Jonathan Farley] responded to an article in Time Magazine which attacked affirmative action and supported Proposition 209. He wrote a letter to the editor which stated, in part: "If Alabama had held a referendum on segregation in the 1950s or on slavery in the 1850s, wickedness would have won each time. Krauthammer calls it `democracy' when a numerically stronger group (whites) forces the numerically weaker group (Blacks) to do its will. Enlightened men call it tyranny." Similarly, in a December 17, 1996 letter to the editor of the San Francisco Examiner he [Dr. Jonathan Farley] protested: "(Mr. Siskind) says that we are "whining" when we try to block the implementation of the racist Proposition 209. He ignores the fact that half of all propositions get blocked by the courts, typical of the pro-209 forces' dishonesty. How come when whites complain that blacks are taking away all their jobs (which is not only a lie but mathematically impossible), no one says they are whining?"

Since MSRI, Dr. Jonathan Farley has been an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002. He was one of only four people in the United States to receive a 2001-2002 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to the United Kingdom. He will spend the year conducting research at the University of Oxford. From 2003 to 2004 Farley was a Visiting Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Associate Professor Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Farley is the 2004 recipient of the Harvard Foundation's Distinguished Scientist Award, a medal presented on behalf of the president of Harvard University for "outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of mathematics." The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts declared March 19, 2004 to be "Dr. Jonathan David Farley Day." In 2005, he was named a Science Fellow of Stanford University's Center for International Security.

Selected non-mathematics articles about or by Jonathan David Farley.


Prof. Farley's main areas of research are lattice theory and the theory of ordered sets. Though he earned his Ph.D. in 1995, he has many very good papers. In 2003 solved an mathematics problem posed in 1981 by Richard P. Stanley, and a George Grätzer problem posed in 1964.


  1. Jonathan David Farley, Linear of Extensions of Ranked Posets, Enumerated by Descents: A Problem of Stanley from the 1981 Banff Conference on Ordered Sets, Adv. in Appl. Math. 34 (2005), no. 2, 295--312. (Reviewer: Miklós Bóna)
  2. Jonathan David Farley, A Structure Theorem for Posets Admitting a Strong Chain Partition: A Generalization of a Conjecture of Daykin and Daykin, Discrete Mathematics (to appear).
  3. Farley, Jonathan David and Sungsoon Kim, The Automorphism Group of the Fibonacci Poset: A ``Not Too Difficult" Problem of Stanley from 1988, Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics 19 (2004), 197-204.
  4. Farley, Jonathan David, Breaking Al Qaeda Cells: A Mathematical Analysis of Counterterrorism Operations (A Guide for Risk Assessment and Decision Making), Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 26 (2003), 399-411.
  5. Farley, Jonathan David, Quasi-Differential Posets and Cover Functions of Distributive Lattices II. A Problem in Stanley's Enumerative, Combinatorics, Graphs and Combinatorics 19 (2003), 475-491.
  6. Farley, Jonathan David; Schröder, Bernd S. W. Strictly order-preserving maps into $\Bbb Z$. II. A 1979 problem of Erné. Order 18 (2001), no. 4, 381--385 (2002).
  7. Farley, Jonathan David, Coproducts of Bounded Distributive Lattices: Cancellation (a Problem from the 1981 Banff Conference on Ordered Sets)," Algebra Universalis 45 (2001), 375-381.
  8. Farley, Jonathan David; Schmidt, Stefan E. Posets That Locally Resemble Distributive Lattices: An Extension of Stanley's Theorem (with Connections to Buildings and Diagram Geometries), Journal of Combinatorial Theory (A) 92 (2000), 119-137.
  9. Farley, Jonathan David; Quasi-Differential Posets and Cover Functions of Distributive Lattices, I: A Conjecture of Stanley, Journal of Combinatorial Theory (A) 90 (2000), 123-147.
  10. Farley, Jonathan David; Functions on Distributive Lattices with the Congruence Substitution Property: Some Problems of Grätzer from 1964, Advances in Mathematics 149 (2000), 193-213.
  11. Farley, J. D.; Cardinalities of Infinite Antichains in Products of Chains, Algebra Universalis 42 (1999), 235-238.
  12. Farley, J. D.; Ideals of Priestley Powers of Semilattices, Algebra Universalis 41 (1999), 239-254..
  13. Farley, Jonathan David; The Fixed Point Property for Posets of Small Width, Order 14 (1997-1998), 125-143.
  14. Farley, Jonathan David; Chain Decomposition Theorems for Ordered Sets (and Other Musings), DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science 34 (American Mathematical Society, Providence, Rhode Island, 1997), 3-13.
  15. Farley, Jonathan David; Perfect sequences of chain-complete posets, Discrete Mathematics 167/168 (1997), 271-296.
  16. Farley, Jonathan David; Priestley powers of lattices and their congruences: A problem of E. T. Schmidt, Acta Sci. Math. (Szeged) 62 (1996), 3--45.
  17. Farley, J. D.; The automorphism group of a function lattice: a problem of Jónsson and McKenzie, Algebra Universalis 36 (1996), 8--45.
  18. Farley, Jonathan David; Priestley duality for order-preserving maps into distributive lattices, Order 13 (1996), 65--98.
  19. Farley, Jonathan David; The number of order-preserving maps between fences and crowns, Order 12 (1995), 5--44.
  20. Farley, Jonathan David; The uniqueness of the core, Order 10 (1993), 129--131.

References: Dr. Farley; William A. Massey; MathSciNet; there is also a profile in Upscale Magazine (July 2001 issue);;;;

The web pages
are brought to you by

The Mathematics Department of
The State University of New York at Buffalo.

They are created and maintained by
Scott W. Williams
Professor of Mathematics

CONTACT Dr. Williams