**Michael David Fried** is an American mathematician working in the geometry and arithmetic of families of nonsingular projective curve covers. He uses group representation theory to avoid solving equations (the monodromy method).

Fried's mathematical articles can be roughly divided into four groups: Arithmetic of Covers and Regular Inverse Galois Problem, Hilbert's Irreducibility Theorem, Finite fields and Diophantine problems, and Modular Towers and Strong Torsion Conjecture .

Fried got his PhD from University of Michigan in Mathematics (1964–1967); from 1959–1961 he got his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in electrical engineering. Between those degrees he worked for three years as an aerospace electrical engineer. This included work on the Lunar Excursion Module and the Nautilus submarine . He chose the two years of postdoctoral at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1967–1969). Before living in Montana in 2004, he was a Professor at Stony Brook University (8 years), University of California at Irvine (26 years), University of Florida (3 years) and Hebrew University (2 years). He has been a visiting professor at MIT, MSRI, University of Michigan, University of Florida, Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. He has been an editor on several mathematics journals including the Research Announcements of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, and the Journal of Finite Fields and its Applications. He was included in the inaugural (2013) class of Fellows of the AMS. Frieds fellowships include Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1972–1974), Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University (1987–1988), Fulbright spent at Helsinki University (1982–1983), Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (1994–1996), and the two periods at the Institute for Advanced Study (Fall, 1967 to Spring 1969 and Spring 1974).