Yakov Eliashberg is the Herald L. and Caroline L. Ritch Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. His research interests lie in symplectic and contact geometry, several complex variables, singularity theory and low-dimensional topology. He is one of the founders of symplectic topology, a new and active area of research which emerged in 1980s and found important applications in other areas of mathematics and theoretical physics. Professor Eliashberg was born in 1946 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. He received his doctoral degree from Leningrad University in 1972 and the same year joined Syktyvkar University in the northern Soviet Union as an associate professor. In 1988 he emigrated to the United States, and in 1989 became a professor at Stanford University. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Oswald Veblen Prize in 2001 from the American Mathematical Society, and received Doctorat Honoris Causa from the ENS Lyon, France, in 2009.