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Encyclopedia > Fields Medal
The obverse of the Fields Medal

The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years. The Fields Medal is widely viewed as the top honor a mathematician can receive.[1][2] It comes with a monetary award, which in 2006 was C$15,000 (US$13,400 or 10,550).[3] Founded at the behest of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields, the medal was first awarded in 1936, to Finnish mathematician Lars Ahlfors and American mathematician Jesse Douglas and has been regularly awarded since 1950. Its purpose is to give recognition and support to younger mathematical researchers who have made major contributions. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 624 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (800 × 769 pixel, file size: 115 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 624 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (800 × 769 pixel, file size: 115 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Leonhard Euler, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ... The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the biggest congress in mathematics. ... The International Mathematical Union is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics. ... “C$” redirects here. ... USD redirects here. ... For other uses, see Euro (disambiguation). ... John Charles Fields (May 14, 1863 - August 9, 1932) was a Canadian mathematician and the founder of the Fields Medal for outstanding achievement in mathematics. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Lars Valerian Ahlfors (April 18, 1907 – October 11, 1996) was a Finland Swedish mathematician, remembered for his work in the field of Riemann surfaces and his text on complex analysis. ... Jesse Douglas (July 3, 1897 - October 7, 1965) was an American mathematician. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Conditions of the award

The Fields Medal is often described as the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics" for the prestige it carries[4], though in most other ways the relatively new Abel Prize is a more direct analogue. The comparison is not entirely accurate because the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years. The Medal also has an age limit: a recipient's 40th birthday must not occur before January 1 of the year in which the Fields Medal is awarded. This rule is based on Fields' desire that The Nobel Prize (Swedish: ), as designated in Alfred Nobels will in 1895, is awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. ... For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... The Abel Prize is awarded annually by the King of Norway to outstanding mathematicians. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

… while it was in recognition of work already done, it was at the same time intended to be an encouragement for further achievement on the part of the recipients and a stimulus to renewed effort on the part of others.

The monetary award is much lower than the roughly US$1.5 million given with each Nobel prize. Finally, Fields Medals have generally been awarded for a body of work, rather than for a particular result; and instead of a direct citation there is a speech of congratulation.


Other major awards in mathematics, such as the Wolf Prize in Mathematics and the Abel Prize, recognise lifetime achievement, again making them different in kind from the Nobels, although the Abel has a large monetary prize like a Nobel. The Fields Medal has the prestige of the selection by the IMU, which represents the world mathematical community. The Wolf Prize has been awarded annually since 1978 to living scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples . ... Past winners of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics: 1978 Israel M. Gelfand, Carl L. Siegel 1979 Jean Leray, André Weil 1980 Henri Cartan, Andrei Kolmogorov 1981 Lars Ahlfors, Oscar Zariski 1982 Hassler Whitney, Mark Grigoryevich Krein 1983/4 Shiing S. Chern, Paul Erdős 1984/5 Kunihiko Kodaira, Hans... The Abel Prize is awarded annually by the King of Norway to outstanding mathematicians. ... The International Mathematical Union is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics. ...


Fields Medalists

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Andrei Okounkov (Russian: Андрей Окуньков, Andrej Okunkov) (born 1969) is a mathematician who works on representation theory and its applications to algebraic geometry, mathematical physics, probability theory and special functions. ... Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman (Russian: ), born 13 June 1966 in Leningrad, USSR (now St. ... Terence Chi-Shen Tao (陶哲軒) (born July 17, 1975, Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian mathematician working primarily on harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, combinatorics, analytic number theory and representation theory. ... Wendelin Werner (born September 1968 in Germany) is a German-born French mathematician working in the area of self-avoiding random walks, Schramm-Loewner evolution, and related theories in probability theory and mathematical physics. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Laurent Lafforgue (born November 6, 1966, in Antony, France) is a French mathematician. ... Vladimir Voevodsky (Russian: Владимир Воеводский) (born June 4, 1966) is a Russian mathematician. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Richard Ewen Borcherds (born November 29, 1959) is a mathematician specializing in group theory and Lie algebras. ... William Timothy Gowers (born November 20, 1963, Wiltshire, United Kingdom) is a British mathematician. ... Maxim Kontsevich (Russian: Максим Концевич) (born August 25, 1964) is a Russian mathematician. ... Curtis T McMullen (born 21 May 1958) is Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Efim Isaakovich Zelmanov (born September 7, 1955) is a mathematician, known for his work on combinatorial problems in nonassociative algebra and group theory, including his solution of the restricted Burnside problem. ... Pierre-Louis Lions (August 11, 1956 - ) is a French mathematician. ... Jean Bourgain (born Ostend, February 28, 1954), is a professor of mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. ... Jean-Christophe Yoccoz (born May 29, 1957) is a French mathematician. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Vladimir Gershonovich Drinfeld (Владимир Гершонович Дринфельд) is a mathematician born February 14, 1954 in Ukraine. ... Vaughan Frederick Randal Jones (born 31 December 1952) is a New Zealand mathematician, known for his work on von Neumann algebras, knot polynomials and conformal field theory. ... Shigefumi Mori (森 重文 Mori Shigefumi, born February 23, 1951) is a Japanese mathematician, known for his work in algebraic geometry, particularly in relation to the classification of three-folds. ... Edward Witten (born August 26, 1951) is an American theoretical physicist and professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... Simon Kirwan Donaldson, born in Cambridge in 1957, is an English mathematician famous for his work on the topology of smooth (differentiable) four-dimensional manifolds. ... Gerd Faltings, June 2006 Gerd Faltings (born July 28, 1954 in Gelsenkirchen-Buer) is a German Lutheran mathematician known for his work in arithmetic algebraic geometry. ... Michael Hartley Freedman (born 21 April 1951 in Los Angeles, California, USA) is a mathematician at Microsoft Research. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Alain Connes (born April 1, 1947) is a French mathematician, currently Professor at the College de France (Paris, France), IHES (Bures-sur-Yvette, France) and Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee). ... William Thurston William Paul Thurston (born October 30, 1946) is an American mathematician. ... Shing-Tung Yau (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; born April 4, 1949) is a prominent mathematician working in differential geometry, and involved in the theory of Calabi-Yau manifolds. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Pierre Deligne, March 2005 Pierre Deligne (born 3 October 1944) is a Belgian mathematician. ... Charles Louis Fefferman (born April 18, 1949) is a renowned American mathematician at Princeton University. ... Gregori Aleksandrovich Margulis (first name often given as Gregory, Grigori or Grigory) (born February 24, 1946) is a mathematician known for his far-reaching work on lattices in Lie groups, and the introduction of methods from ergodic theory into diophantine approximation. ... Daniel Quillen (born June 21, 1940) is an American mathematician, a Fields Medallist, and the current Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics at Magdalen College, Oxford. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Enrico Bombieri (born November 26, 1940) is a Italian mathematician, born in Milan. ... David Bryant Mumford (born 11 June 1937) is an American mathematician known for distinguished work in algebraic geometry, and then for research into vision and pattern theory. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Alan Baker (born on August 19, 1939) is an English mathematician. ... Heisuke Hironaka (広中 平祐 Hironaka Heisuke, born April 9, 1931) is a Japanese mathematician. ... Sergei Petrovich Novikov (also Serguei) (Russian: Сергей Петрович Новиков) (born 20 March 1938) is a Russian mathematician, noted for work in both algebraic topology and soliton theory. ... John Griggs Thompson (born 13 Oct 1932) is a mathematician noted for his work in the field of finite groups. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Michael Francis Atiyah, OM, FRS (b. ... Paul Joseph Cohen (April 2, 1934 – March 23, 2007[1]) was an American mathematician. ... Alexander Grothendieck (born March 28, 1928 in Berlin, Germany) is one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century. ... Stephen Smale (born July 15, 1930) is an American mathematician from Flint, Michigan, and winner of the Fields Medal in 1966. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lars Hörmander Lars Valter Hörmander (born 24 January 1931) is a Swedish mathematician and one of the leading experts in partial differential equations. ... John Willard Milnor (b. ... Jan. ... Klaus Friedrich Roth (Roth is pronounced ROW-th) (29 October 1925) is a British mathematician known for work on diophantine approximation, the large sieve, and irregularities of distribution. ... René Thom (September 2, 1923 - October 25, 2002) was a French mathematician and founder of the catastrophe theory. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kunihiko Kodaira (小平 邦彦 Kodaira Kunihiko, 16 March 1915 – 26 July 1997) was a Japanese mathematician known for distinguished work in algebraic geometry and the theory of complex manifolds; and as the founder of the Japanese school of algebraic geometers. ... Jean-Pierre Serre (born September 15, 1926) is one of the leading mathematicians of the twentieth century, active in algebraic geometry, number theory and topology. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Laurent Schwartz (5 March 1915 – 4 July 2002 in Paris) was a French mathematician. ... Atle Selberg (born June 17, 1917) is a Norwegian mathematician known for his work in analytic number theory, and in the theory of automorphic forms, in particular bringing them into relation with spectral theory. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Lars Valerian Ahlfors (April 18, 1907 – October 11, 1996) was a Finland Swedish mathematician, remembered for his work in the field of Riemann surfaces and his text on complex analysis. ... Jesse Douglas (July 3, 1897 - October 7, 1965) was an American mathematician. ...

Landmarks

In 1954, Jean-Pierre Serre became the youngest winner of the Fields Medal, at just over 28. He still retains this distinction. Jean-Pierre Serre (born September 15, 1926) is one of the leading mathematicians of the twentieth century, active in algebraic geometry, number theory and topology. ...


In 1966, Alexander Grothendieck boycotted his own Fields Medal ceremony, held in Moscow, to protest Soviet military actions taking place in Eastern Europe.[5] Alexander Grothendieck (born March 28, 1928 in Berlin, Germany) is one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ...


In 1970, Sergei Petrovich Novikov, due to restrictions placed on him by the Soviet government, was unable to travel to the congress in Nice to receive his medal. Sergei Petrovich Novikov (also Serguei) (Russian: Сергей Петрович Новиков) (born 20 March 1938) is a Russian mathematician, noted for work in both algebraic topology and soliton theory. ... Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Coordinates Administration Country Region Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Department Alpes-Maritimes (06) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration Nice Côte dAzur Mayor Jacques Peyrat (UMP) (since 1995) Statistics Land area¹ 71. ...


In 1978, Gregori Margulis, due to restrictions placed on him by the Soviet government, was unable to travel to the congress in Helsinki to receive his medal. The award was accepted on his behalf by Jacques Tits, who said in his address: Gregori Aleksandrovich Margulis (first name often given as Gregory, Grigori or Grigory) (born February 24, 1946) is a mathematician known for his far-reaching work on lattices in Lie groups, and the introduction of methods from ergodic theory into diophantine approximation. ... Location of Helsinki in Northern Europe Coordinates: , Country Province Region Uusimaa Sub-region Helsinki Charter 1550 Capital city 1812 Government  - Mayor Jussi Pajunen Area  - Total 187. ... Jacques Tits (born August 12, 1930) is a French mathematician, formerly Belgian. ...

I cannot but express my deep disappointment — no doubt shared by many people here — in the absence of Margulis from this ceremony. In view of the symbolic meaning of this city of Helsinki, I had indeed grounds to hope that I would have a chance at last to meet a mathematician whom I know only through his work and for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration.[6]

In 1982, the congress was due to be held in Warsaw but had to be rescheduled to the next year, due to political instability. The awards were announced at the ninth General Assembly of the IMU earlier in the year and awarded at the 1983 Warsaw congress. For other uses, see Warsaw (disambiguation) and Warszawa (disambiguation). ...


In 1998, at the ICM, Andrew Wiles was presented by the chair of the Fields Medal Committee, Yuri Manin, with the first-ever IMU silver plaque in recognition of his proof of Fermat's last theorem. Don Zagier referred to the plaque as a "quantized Fields Medal". Accounts of this award frequently make reference that at the time of the award Wiles was over the age limit for the Fields medal (e.g., see [7]). Although Wiles was slightly over the age limit in 1994, he was thought to be a favorite to win the medal; however, a gap (later resolved by Wiles) in the proof was found in 1993. [8] [9] For the French mathematician with work in the area of elliptic curves, see André Weil. ... Yuri Ivanovitch Manin (born 1937) is a Russian-born mathematician, known for work in algebraic geometry and diophantine geometry, and many expository works ranging from mathematical logic to theoretical physics. ... Pierre de Fermats conjecture written in the margin of his copy of Arithmetica proved to be one of the most intriguing and enigmatic mathematical problems ever devised. ... Don Bernhard Zagier (1951 - ) is an American mathematician. ...


In 2006, Grigori Perelman, credited with proving the Poincaré conjecture, refused his Fields Medal[3] and did not attend the congress. [10] Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman (Russian: ), born 13 June 1966 in Leningrad, USSR (now St. ... In mathematics, the Poincaré conjecture (IPA: [])[1] is a conjecture about the characterization of the three-dimensional sphere amongst three-dimensional manifolds. ...


The medal

Realised by Canadian sculptor Robert Tait McKenzie.

  • On the obverse is Archimedes and some inscriptions.
  • On the reverse is the inscription (in Latin):
CONGREGATI

EX TOTO ORBE For other uses, see Archimedes (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


MATHEMATICI


OB SCRIPTA INSIGNIA


TRIBUERE

Translation: "The mathematicians having congregated from the whole world awarded because of outstanding writings."


In the background, there is the representation of Archimedes' tomb, with the carving of his theorem on the Sphere and the Cylinder (a sphere and a circumscribed cylinder of the same height and diameter, the result of which he was most proud) behind a branch. For other uses, see Archimedes (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Archimedes (disambiguation). ...


See also

  • List of prizes, medals, and awards in mathematics

A list of famous prizes, medals, and awards including cups, trophies, bowls, badges, state decorations etc. ...

Notes

  1. ^ (October 2006) "2006 Fields Medals awarded". Notices of the American Mathematical Society 53 (9). American Mathematical Society. 
  2. ^ Reclusive Russian turns down math world's highest honour. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) (2006-08-22). Retrieved on 2006-08-26.
  3. ^ a b "Maths genius turns down top prize", BBC, 2006-08-22. Retrieved on 2006-08-22. 
  4. ^ Kenneth Chang. "Journeys to the Distant Fields of Prime", New York Times, 2007-03-12. 
  5. ^ Jackson, Allyn (10 2004). "As If Summoned from the Void: The Life of Alexandre Grothendieck" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society 51 (9): 1198. Retrieved on 2006-08-26. 
  6. ^ Margulis biography, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Accessed 27 August 2006.
  7. ^ Wiles, Andrew John, Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed 27 August 2006.
  8. ^ Fields Medal Prize Winners (1998), 2002 International Congress of Mathematicians. Accessed 27 August 2006.
  9. ^ Notices of the AMS, November 1998. Vol. 45, No. 10, p. 1359.
  10. ^ Nasar, Sylvia; Gruber, David. "Manifold Destiny: A legendary problem and the battle over who solved it.", The New Yorker, 21 August 2006. Retrieved on 2006-08-24. 

Notices of the AMS, March 2005 issue. ... The American Mathematical Society (AMS) is dedicated to the interests of mathematical research and education, which it does with various publications and conferences as well as annual monetary awards to mathematicians. ... Radio-Canada redirects here. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Notices of the AMS, March 2005 issue. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see New Yorker. ... is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Official site

  Results from FactBites:
 
Fields Institute - The Fields Medal (839 words)
The history of the Fields Medal begins in the Committee of the International Congress set up by the University of Toronto in November of 1923, with the purpose of organizing the 1924 Congress to be held in Toronto.
Fields then proceeded with the planning of the award of the first medals, but fell ill in May of 1932 and died 3 months later.
An analysis by Michael Monastyrsky of the effect of Fields Medalists on 20th century mathematics and physics, delivered in a lecture at the Fields symposium “The legacy of John Charles Fields” held in Toronto in June, 2000, is available here.
John Charles Fields - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (530 words)
Fields is best known for his development of the Fields Medal, which is considered by some to be the Nobel Prize in Mathematics, although there are differences between the awards.
Fields began planning the award in the late 1920s but, due to deteriorating health, never saw the implementation of the medal in his lifetime.
Fields was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1907 and fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1913.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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