Fabrizio Zanello

Fabrizio Zanello
"A's hire A's; B's hire C's."


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  • Professor, Mathematical Sciences
  • PhD, Mathematics (Combinatorial Commutative Algebra), Queen's University (Canada)
  • MS, Mathematics (Analytic Number Theory), University of Genova (Italy)


I came to the US in 2006, as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Before then, I was a Ph.D. student at Queen's University, Canada, a postdoc at the University of Genova, Italy, and the Gustafsson postdoc at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. I joined the Michigan Tech faculty in 2007, where I received early tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011, and promotion to full Professor in 2016. I spent both calendar year 2011 and 2013 at MIT as a Visiting Associate Professor, and Fall 2017 as a Visiting Professor invited by Richard Stanley. Goodwill Permutating is an interview that Richard Stanley and I gave in Fall 2016.

My research interests are in the broader areas of Combinatorics, Commutative Algebra, and Partition Theory. Nearly all of my preprints are available on the arXiv. My research is currently supported by a five-year Simons Foundation Grant (2013-2018).

At Michigan Tech, I usually teach the graduate courses in Algebra and Combinatorial Commutative Algebra, the undergraduate courses in Algebra, or Calculus I. At MIT I taught three times 18.304, the seminar course in Combinatorics for the senior math majors (in Spring and Fall 2011, and Spring 2013). For my lucky list of research students at MIT and Michigan Tech, please see my CV.

  • CV (updated January 17, 2018)
  • Bibliography (updated January 17, 2018)

I have been giving a large number of interviews to Italian newspapers during the last many years, both about myself and my professional activities in the United States, and nearly as entertaining, the education of gifted children and young adults. Some interviews are also available online, including the following published by Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica (the two main Italian newspapers), and Alice & Bob (a journal of Bocconi University, a leading European Business School). This is a scan of an interview that I released to Focus, for their December 2012 issue of Focus Extra discussing "genius". Since 2011, I am a member of the Scientific Committee of AISTAP (the Italian Association for the Development of Talent and High Ability).

Speaking of gifted people, this is the Putnam result of my exceptional former research student Jizhou, obtained in 2009 at Michigan Tech, and this is the medal that my equally exceptional MIT research student Colin received as a 2010 Putnam Fellow.

The (so far) 16 watches of my personal collection, that I started in 2005, are, in decreasing order of cuteness:  watch #1 (Wrist shot)watch #1 (Front)watch #1 (Back)watch #1 (Book)watch #1 (Anniversary bracelet) (Patek Philippe reference 5089G-020 --- a (very) limited edition piece with wood marquetry dial from Patek's 175th Anniversary collection!), watch #2watch #3watch #4watch #5watch #6watch #7watch #8watch #9watch #10watch #11watch #12watch #13watch #14watch #15, and watch #16. Most of these photographs are courtesy of Juan Migliore or Andrea Squarcia. Perfect Timing: For Fabrizio Zanello, the Watchword is Patek is a curious (and beautifully written) interview that I gave in September 2015.

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • Algebraic and Enumerative Combinatorics
  • Combinatorial Commutative Algebra
  • Partition Theory