Eduard Looijenga (1948) obtained his Masters’s degree in mathematics at the University of Amsterdam in 1971. From 1971 till 1973 he stayed as a junior fellow at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques and in 1974 he took his doctoral degree at the University of Amsterdam. After holding a postdoc position at the University of Liverpool (1974-75), he was appointed Professor at the University of Nijmegen (1975). From 1987 till 1990 he was at the University of Amsterdam and in 1991 he took his current position at the University of Utrecht. He held visiting positions at Yale (1980), U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1985), Columbia U. (1987), U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor (1990), U. of Utah (1991).
His research started in singularity theory, but migrated via Torelli problems (often related to rational surfaces and K3 surfaces) to locally symmetric varieties, then to mapping class groups and moduli spaces of curves, while his recent work is concerned with automorphic forms with poles along Heegner divisors and (jointly with Heckman and Couwenberg) generalizations of Lauricella functions.
Looijenga was an invited speaker at the ICM in 1978 and at the ECM in 1992. He was on the selection panel for Algebraic Geometry of the ICM in 1994, the Prize Committee of the ECM in 2000 and the Scientific Committee of the ECM in 2004. Since 1995 he is an ordinary member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is currently editor of Comp. Math., Michigan Math. J. and the J. of the Eur. Math. Soc..