Mike Develin

Michael Lee Develin
Born (1980-08-27) August 27, 1980 (age 41)
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions D. E. Shaw & Co.
Doctoral advisor Bernd Sturmfels

Michael Lee Develin (born August 27, 1980) is an American mathematician known for his work in combinatorics and discrete geometry.

Early life

Mike Develin was born in Hobart, Tasmania. He moved to the United States with his Korean mother, living in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School, where he was captain of the math team,[1] and entered Harvard University at the age of 16. At 22, he received his PhD from UC Berkeley, doing his dissertation on Topics in Discrete Geometry. He was awarded the 2003 American Institute of Mathematics five-year fellowship.[2]


Develin is a 2-time Putnam fellow in 1997 and 1998.[3] He studied under advisor Bernd Sturmfels at UC-Berkeley, and has been noted for work on Stanley's reciprocity theorem and tight spans. His 2004 paper, "Tropical Convexity",[4] with Sturmfels, is regarded as one of the seminal papers of tropical geometry, garnering over 150 citations to date.[5]


Develin worked on data science for Facebook and Instagram from 2011 to 2018.[6]

On January 23, 2014, Develin published a satirical note on behalf of Facebook's data science team, predicting the demise of Princeton University, in response to a research paper by Princeton PhD candidates predicting the demise of Facebook.[7]


Develin started playing competitive bridge in 2005.



Personal life

Develin was naturalized as an American citizen in 2010.

Develin organized and maintains SimBase, a simulated baseball league with fictitious players, whose inaugural members also included Jeopardy! champion Joon Pahk.[9][10]

Develin occasionally set up a "free advice" table near the San Francisco Ferry Building.[11]

He currently resides in Kirkland, Washington.[6]


  1. ^ "Richard Geller: The Lifelong Mathematician". Stuyvesant Spectator.
  2. ^ "2003 AIM Five-Year Fellowship". American Institute of Mathematics.
  3. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's William Lowell Putnam Competition". Mathematical Association of America.
  4. ^ Develin, Mike; Sturmfels, Bernd (2004). "Tropical Convexity". Documenta Math. 9: 1–27. arXiv:math/0308254.
  5. ^ "Citations for Tropical Convexity". Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Mike Develin | LinkedIn".
  7. ^ Albergotti, Reed (2014-01-24). "Facebook Responds by Predicting Princeton's Demise". Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ "North American Juniors Star in South America, Winning Pairs and Teams". United States Bridge Federation.
  9. ^ "Introduction". SimBase.org.
  10. ^ "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Joon Pahk?". Dribble Penetration - A Basket Blog.
  11. ^ "Where to Get the Best (Free) Unlicensed Therapy". Psychology Today.

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