19 Mar 2010

Professor Robert C. Merton receives the Kolmogorov Medal from the University of London

Robert C. Merton

BOSTON, March 19, 2010 —Robert C. Merton, Harvard's John and Natty McArthur University Professor based at Harvard Business School and the 1997 cowinner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in the Economic Sciences, recently received the Kolmogorov Medal from the University of London in recognition of his distinguished work in fields of research influenced by the renowned Russian mathematician Andrei N. Kolmogorov (1903-1987). As part of the ceremonies, Merton also delivered a lecture titled "Observations on the Science of Finance in the Practice of Finance: Past, Present, and Future."

Merton's research focuses on developing finance theory in the areas of capital markets and finance institutions. According to University of London professor Alex Gammerman, "Andrei Kolmogorov is widely regarded as a founder of stochastic processes. One of the most spectacular applications of that theory is to the theory of pricing financial derivatives, which originated in the work of Robert Merton in collaboration with fellow Nobel Laureate Myron Scholes and the late Fischer Black." When Merton's Nobel was announced, Carliss Y. Baldwin, the William L. White Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, remarked, "Few economists have contributed theories of such breadth and beauty; fewer still have seen their ideas put to such immediate practical use. Like Paul Samuelson, Bob Merton has changed the foundations on which the science of economics is built."

In his prize lecture, Merton offered observations on the structural elements of the worldwide financial crisis, on needed financial regulatory changes, and on the important role of financial innovation and science in the future.

Merton is past president of the American Finance Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Art and Sciences. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1988.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.