Stefanos Aretakis, Associate Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Toronto

Bodossaki Distinguished Young Scientist Award 2021

Academic field:
Science: Mathematics

“Bodossaki Foundation offered me a scholarship for my doctoral studies in the UK, from 2008 to 2012. Back then, this scholarship literally paved the way for me to follow my dreams; and so, I have always been grateful to Bodossaki Foundation. This is why for me, my recent award is not only of great scientific value, but also of great emotional value.”


Stefanos Aretakis is Associate Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on mathematical general relativity and mainly on the rigorous analysis of black hole dynamics.

With family origins from the Greek islands of Crete and Zakynthos, he grew up in the Athens neighbourhood of Pangrati until the age of 12, when he moved with his parents to Patras, where he graduated from the Kastritsi High School. It took him less than two years to complete his undergraduate studies at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Patras, from which he graduated with grade of 10/10. During the academic year 2006-2007, he completed his master’s degree in Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. In 2012 he completed his PhD at Cambridge on a scholarship from Bodossaki Foundation, under the supervision of the distinguished Professor of Mathematics M. Dafermos. He then accepted the Veblen Research Instructorship post-doctoral position at Princeton University and the US Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). In 2016 he worked as Assistant Professor at Princeton University and since the summer of 2017 he is working at the University of Toronto, Canada.

His work, published in 2011, on the instability of so-called extreme black holes, a category of black holes with maximum angular momentum or load, created a new research direction in theoretical physics. His subsequent study, in collaboration with G. Angelopoulos and D. Gajic, led to the solution of a series of problems, culminating in the discovery of a characteristic property (signature) of extreme black holes in 2018. In fact, this signature could contribute to the indirect observation of black holes, and could also provide answers to questions about their future evolution. For these reasons, this signature is studied by various research groups in Physics and Astrophysics. His recent work, in collaboration with St. Czimek and I. Rodnianski, recognized the obstacles of spacetime welding based on fundamental physical quantities.

Stefanos Aretakis has been honoured with a number of international distinctions. He has been awarded by the Sloan Foundation, the US National Science Foundation and the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (SERC). He has also distinguished himself as one of the leading young scientists in Ontario, Canada. In 2016 he was presented with the Papastratos Award in Geometry by the Academy of Athens. In the summer of 2021, he received the IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics) award in Mathematical Physics “for his important contribution to general relativity, with recognised potential for experimental