Richard Ewen Borcherds is a professor of mathematics at University of California at Berkeley. He is a Fields medalist of British origin. Much of his work is inspired by mathematical physics. He invented vertex algebras and has deep results on automorphic forms and Kac-Moody Lie algebras. Many examples and constructions in his work were came from the theory of finite groups (especially the monster group which was responsible for the existence of the Monster Moonshine vertex operator algebra).