Grigorchuk was born on February 23, 1953 in Ternopil oblast, Ukraine (in 1953 part of the USSR). He received his undergraduate degree in 1975 from Moscow State University. He obtained a PhD (Candidate of Science) in Mathematics in 1978, also from Moscow State University, where his thesis advisor was A. M. Stepin. Grigorchuk received a habilitation (Doctor of Science) degree in Mathematics in 1985 at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in Moscow. During the 1980s and 1990s, Rostislav Grigorchuk held positions at the Moscow State University of Transportation, and subsequently at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics and Moscow State University. In 2002 Grigorchuk joined the faculty of Texas A&M University as a Professor of Mathematics, and he was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor in 2008.
Rostislav Grigorchuk gave an invited address at the 1990 International Congress of Mathematicians in Kyoto an AMS Invited Address at the March 2004 meeting of the American Mathematical Society in Athens, Ohio and a plenary talk at the 2004 Winter Meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society.
Grigorchuk is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Groups, Geometry and Dynamics", published by the European Mathematical Society, and a member of the editorial boards of the journals "International Journal of Algebra and Computation", "Journal of Modern Dynamics", "Geometriae Dedicata", "Algebra and Discrete Mathematics" and "Matematychni Studii".
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