Bachelor of Science, University of Chicago, 1966; Master of Science, University of Chicago, 1967; Doctor of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 1970.
He is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley and was Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) from 1997 to 2007. He has been appointed to a second term in this office for the period of August 1, 2013 until July 31, 2017. He then taught at Brandeis University from 1970 to 1997, during which time he had visiting positions at Harvard University, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), University of Bonn, and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS).
He joined the staff at MSRI in 1997, and took a position at Berkeley at the same time. From 2003 to 2005 Eisenbud was President of the American Mathematical Society. Eisenbud's mathematical interests include commutative and non-commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, topology, and computational methods in these fields.
He has written nearly 150 papers with over 50 co-authors. Notable contributions include the theory of matrix factorizations for maximal Cohen–Macaulay modules over hypersurface rings, the Eisenbud–Goto conjecture on degrees of generators of syzygy modules, and the Buchsbaum–Eisenbud criterion for exactness of a complex. He also proposed the Eisenbud-Evans conjecture which was later settled by the Indian mathematician Neithalath Mohan Kumar.
Eisenbud's hobbies are juggling (he has written two papers on the mathematics of juggling) and music. He was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize in 2010. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Member American Mathematics Society (county).
Married Monika Margarte Schwabe, June 3, 1970. Children: Daniel, Alina.