Jacob Palis is a professor at the National Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA), in Rio de Janeiro. He is past president of TWAS and president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Having obtained his PhD in 1967 at UC Berkeley, Palis has occupied the following positions: secretary and president of the International Mathematical Union, vice president of ICSU, chair of the Scientific Committee of ICTP, and member of the Scientific Committees of ETH-Zurich and of the Collège de France.
Among the prizes that he has received are: Moinho Santista Prize, TWAS Prize in Math, National Prize for S&T, InterAmerican Prize for Science, Mexico Prize for Science and Technology, Trieste Science Prize, International Prize Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei for Mathematics, and Balzan Prize. Among the distinctions received are: Grand-Croix National Order of Scientific Merit, awarded by the president of Brazil, and Chevalier de la Legion d‘Honneur, awarded by the president of France. He is a member of the following Academies: Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Latin American Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences, Chilean Academy of Sciences, Mexican Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences, European Academy of Sciences, Norwegian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and Lisbon Academy of Sciences. He has honoris causa doctorate degrees from: State University of Rio de Janeiro, University of Chile, University of Warwick, University of Santiago de Chile, Universidad de la Habana, Universidad de Ingenieria de Peru, and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is also Honorary Einstein Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Honorary Professor at Peking University.