At the opening ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 in Seoul, Korea, on August 13, Fields Medals were awarded to
- Artur Avila for his profound contributions to dynamical systems theory, which have changed the face of the field, using the powerful idea of renormalization as a unifying principle. Artur won a Gold Medal for Brazil at the 1995 IMO.;
- Manjul Bhargava for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves;
- Martin Hairer for his outstanding contributions to the theory of stochastic partial differential equations, and in particular for the creation of a theory of regularity structures for such equations; and
- Maryam Mirzakhani for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces. Maryam won a Gold Medal for Iran at the 1994 and 1995 IMOs.
Mirzakhani (who published a note in the Monthly) is the first woman to win the Fields Medal, and Manjul Bhargava has numerous MAA connections. Bhargava won the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize in 1996, the Merten M. Hasse prize in 2003 and was interviewed for Math Horizons in 2011. The Hedrick Lectures Bhargava delivered at MAA MathFest 2011 are being turned into a book, and Bhargava is scheduled to speak at the next MAA MathFest in Washington, D.C., in August 2015.
For more information about this year's crop of Fields medalists, find Quanta Magazine's profiles at the links above or visit the International Mathematical Union (IMU) website.
The IMU website also gives citations for the other prizes awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians:
- the Nevanlinna Prize to Subhash Khot for his prescient definition of the “Unique Games” problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimization problems;
- the Gauss Prize to Stanley Osher for his influential contributions to several fields in applied mathematics, and for his far-ranging inventions that have changed our conception of physical, perceptual, and mathematical concepts, giving us new tools to apprehend the world;
- the Chern Medal Award to Phillip Griffiths for his groundbreaking and transformative development of transcendental methods in complex geometry, particularly his seminal work in Hodge theory and periods of algebraic varieties;
- the Leelavati Prize to Adrián Paenza for his decisive contributions to changing the mind of a whole country about the way it perceives mathematics in daily life, and in particular for his books, his TV programs, and his unique gift of enthusiasm and passion in communicating the beauty and joy of mathematics; and
- the Emmy Noether Lectureship to Georgia Benkart for her fundamental contributions to several branches of Lie Theory.