Ukrainian mathematician becomes second woman to win Fields Medal

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On July 5, a jury of the International Mathematical Union awarded the prestigious Fields Medal to four mathematicians, including Ukraine's Marya Vyazovska.

  • Marya Vyazovska

  • Wiazowska is the head of number theory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne.

  • Wiazowska is the second woman to win the award in its 80-year history.

  • She is known to be an expert in solving spherical packing problems.

  • She was awarded the prize for solving a version of a centuries-old mathematical problem where she proved the densest packing of equal regions in eight dimensions.

  • Wiazowska was born in 1984 in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union, and has been a professor at the cole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland since 2017.

  • The other three winners are -

  1. James Maynard - number theorist at the University of Oxford, UK

  2. June Huh - specialist in combinatorics at Princeton University in New Jersey 

  3. Hugo Duminil Copin - studies statistical physics at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies (IHES) near Paris. 

  • 35-year-old James Maynard was presented this award for his contribution to "analytical number theory".

  • June Huh, 39, was awarded the prize for "changing" the field of geometric combinatorics.

  • Duminil-Coppin was awarded for solving "long-standing problems in the probabilistic theory of phase transitions".

  • First women winner

  • The first woman to win the prize was Mariam Mirzakhani in 2014, an Iranian-born mathematician who died of cancer three years later in 2017.

  • Indian-origin winners

  • Two of the winners are of Indian origin.

  • Akshay Venkatesh of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton – was awarded the award in 2018.

  • Manjul Bhargava of the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University was honored in 2014.

  •  About Fields Medal

  • Fields Medal is often described as the Nobel Prize in mathematics.

  • This highest honours in mathematics is conventionally awarded to people aged under 40.

  • The medal, along with $15,000 Canadian dollars ($11,600), is awarded every four years to between two to four candidates for “outstanding mathematical achievement”.

  • Of the 60 mathematicians who won the Fields Medal earlier this year, 59 were men.

  • The prizes are normally announced at the opening of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). 

  • This year’s congress was scheduled to begin on 6 July in St. Petersburg, Russia, but the plan was scrapped following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • The award ceremony was held in Helsinki and the Congress concluded as a virtual event.

  •  International Mathematical Union

  • It is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organization.

  •  Its purpose is to promote international cooperation in mathematics.

  • It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC).

  • founded - in 1920 and has existed in its current form since 1951

  • Location - Berlin, Germany

  • President - Carlos E. Kenig

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