Fields Medals, Nevanlinna Prize Go to Simons Grantees

Two 2014 Fields Medals and the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize have been awarded to Simons Foundation grantees Manjul Bhargava, Maryam Mirzakhani and Subhash Khot, respectively.

Considered the highest honor in the field of mathematics, Fields Medals are awarded in recognition of outstanding mathematical work and the promise of future achievement. Medalists are early- to mid-career mathematicians 40 years old or younger in diverse mathematical fields. Since 1924, the International Mathematical Union (IMU) has awarded two to four medals every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). This year’s medalists, Manjul Bhargava, Maryam Mirzakhani, Artur Avila and Martin Hairer were announced Tuesday at the ICM award ceremony in Seoul, South Korea.

Manjul Bhargava, professor of mathematics at Princeton University and a Simons Investigator in mathematics, focuses on algebraic number theory and the geometry of numbers in the traditions of Carl Friedrich Gauss and Hermann Minkowski. His goal is to count the basic objects of number theory and to make computational conclusions about their asymptotics, which describe limiting behaviors.

Maryam Mirzakhani is a professor of mathematics at Stanford University and a Simons Investigator in mathematics. Her work centers on Teichmüller theory — a concept that sets parameters on complex structures — and the dynamics of natural geometric flows over Riemann surfaces, which are one-dimensional complex manifolds.

The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize was awarded to Subhash Khot, professor of computer science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and an investigator in the Simons Collaboration on Algorithms and Geometry.

The IMU awards the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize every four years and selects recipients for outstanding contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences. Established in 1981, the prize recognizes early- to mid-career mathematicians in fields including complexity theory, analysis of algorithms, pattern recognition, information processing, scientific computing and others.

Khot is also a program organizer at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for his 2002 unique games conjecture, which describes aspects of determining the approximate values of certain types of games in computational complexity theory.