Michele Benzi's Short Bio

Short Bio of Michele Benzi


I was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1962. My father, Valerio Benzi (1928-2016), was a nuclear physicist and for many years taught at the University of Bologna. My mother Annamaria, is, among other things, a fantastic cook. I am the youngest of three children, having two older sisters (Margherita and Giovanna).

I lived in Bologna with my family until about age 25. After elementary and middle school I attended the Liceo Classico "Luigi Galvani". This is, or was at the time, a type of high school emphasizing the study of Latin and ancient Greek, the classics, Italian literature, history, and philosophy. (Click here if you read Italian and wish to know more.) Upon graduation I went on to study Mathematics at the University of Bologna, the oldest university in Europe (chartered in 1088 AD). At Bologna I received a rather rigorous and broad education in mathematics and physics, graduating "summa cum laude" in 1987 with a thesis in Numerical Analysis, on certain iterative methods for the solution of variational inequalities. After compulsory military service in the Italian Air Force, I was awarded a "study abroad fellowship" by the CNR (Italy's National Research Council) and in 1989 I went to North Carolina State University in Raleigh for graduate studies in Mathematics. I received the MS degree in 1991 and the PhD degree in 1993. My PhD thesis was written under the direction of Carl D. Meyer and it introduced new methods for preconditioning and solving sparse linear systems. I have extremely fond memories of my four years in North Carolina.

In 1993 I joined the Mathematics Department at the University of Bologna as "ricercatore" (equivalent to an assistant professor). In 1996 I took a leave of absence to join the Parallel Algorithms Group at CERFACS in Toulouse, France. I eventually resigned my position in Italy and moved back to the US in 1997 to take a position in the Scientific Computing Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

After three tumultuous years at Los Alamos, I moved back to academia in the Fall of 2000, when I joined the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University as an Associate Professor. In 2003 I was named Winship Distinguished Research Professor (a three-year award). I was promoted to Full Professor in 2006, and in 2012 I was appointed Samuel Candler Dobbs Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science.

I met my wife, Carol, in Raleigh when we were both graduate students in Mathematics. We have three children: Joyce Anne (born in Ravenna, Italy, in 1994), Carlo Valerio (born in Toulouse, France, in 1996) and Sofia Margherita (born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1999). We live in Decatur, one of the older suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.


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Last updated August 12, 2016.