He was educated at Charles University (his adviser was Petr Vopěnka) and is now at the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czechoslovakian Republic.
Junior fellow University Bristol (England), 1968-1969. Associate professor State University of New York, Buffalo, 1969-1974. Professor Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1974-2000, professor emeritus, since 2000.
Visiting associate professor University of California at Los Angeles, 1970-1971, visiting professor, 1981. Visiting associate professor Princeton (New Jersey) University, 1972. Visiting professor Stanford (California) University, 1974, University Hawaii, 1984, Normal University, Beijing, 1987, University Marie et Pierre Curie, Paris, 1989, California Institute of Technology, 1991.
Visiting fellow All Souls College, Oxford, England, 1988. Visiting professor University Paris VII, 1990. Visitor Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland, 1989, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University, 1973.
Mathematics Institute Czech Academy of Sciences, 2000-2009.
Member American Mathematics Society (editor 1980-1988), Amnesty International (various offices since 1979).
Married Paula B. Dragounová, September 7, 1965. Children: Pavel, Susanna.