Simons Investigators Awarded 2018 Breakthrough Prize, New Horizons Prize

Connected portrait photos of Christopher Hacon, Christopher Hirata and James McKernan
Christopher Hacon, Christopher Hirata and James McKernan

Three Simons Investigators were honored at the sixth annual Breakthrough Prizes on December 3.

Mathematicians Christopher Hacon of the University of Utah and James McKernan of the University of California, San Diego, received the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in mathematics. The award notes their “transformational contributions to birational algebraic geometry, especially to the minimal model program in all dimensions.” The researchers each receive a trophy and share a $3 million prize.

Separately, cosmologist Christopher Hirata of Ohio State University was named a winner of the 2018 New Horizons in Physics Prize for his contributions to fundamental physics. The $100,000 prize “is awarded to promising junior researchers who have already produced important work,” according to the award announcement.

Hacon and McKernan were named Simons Investigators in 2012 and 2016, respectively, for their continuing contributions to the field of birational geometry. Hirata was named a Simons Investigator in 2012 for his contributions to cosmology and astrophysics.

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