Eric M. Opdam (1960) studied mathematics at the University of Leiden. He received his PhD in Mathematics in 1988, also at the University of Leiden. He worked at the University of Utrecht and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before accepting a permanent position at the University of Leiden in 1989. He stayed in Leiden until 1999 when he was appointed as professor in Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam.
Opdam has held positions as a visiting professor at several occasions in Ann Arbor (MI, USA), Paris, Marseille and Kyoto. He was invited speaker at the EMC in 2000 and at the ICM in 2006. In 2000 he was awarded a prestigious Pionier grant from NWO. He has successfully supervised 2 PhD students, and he is currently training three more. In 2001 he was honorary promotor when Ian Macdonald was granted an honorary doctorate degree at the University of Amsterdam.
Opdam’s research interests include representation theory, Lie groups and algebraic groups, Hecke algebras, integrable systems, special functions, and operator algebras. In his work he has paid special attention to applications of techniques across traditional borders. This has led to active contacts with researchers in various disciplines, ranging from algebraic combinatorics to Langlands philosophy.