Sándor Kovács is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He was interested in mathematics at a very early age, but did not realize that it could be his career choice until his junior year in high school. After that there were no more questions about what he wanted to become. He received his BS degree in mathematics at Eötvös University in his native country of Hungary, and his PhD in mathematics at the University of Utah. In 1995, as a fresh PhD, he became a junior faculty member at M.I.T. Three years later he moved to the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor. Even though he enjoyed living in Boston and Chicago, his heart pulled him back to the West, and in 2000 he joined the UW faculty. After living only 10 years in the United States, he had managed to live in all four of the principal time zones.
Sándor has always been excited about spreading his love of mathematics to young minds. At M.I.T. he was a freshman adviser, teaching an alternative course entitled 'Beyond the third dimension'. At the University of Washington he lectured to high school students at Mathday. This is an annual one-day festival of mathematics held on the campus of UW under the direction of fellow SIMUW director James Morrow. Sándor is advising several graduate and undergraduate students. Based on his research accomplishments and education initiatives, he received the National Science Foundation's prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and most recently a Simons Foundation Fellowship.