Break on Through

The winners of the 2019 Breakthrough Prizes have been announced.  There are six recipients in mathematics: Vincent Lafforgue, Chenyang Xu, Karim Adiprasito, June Huh, Kaisa Matomäki, and Maksym Radziwill.   The laureates will receive their awards during a live televised ceremony on Sunday, November 4.   

The ceremony is a big production, with celebrities from television, film, and music present, as well as the scientists.  The prizes come with significant cash awards, currently $3,000,000 (US).  The first five winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics started a tradition of using a part of their awards to fund the IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships.  And all the subsequent prize winners have followed this great tradition of helping mathematics graduate students from and in the developing world.

The trophy, designed by Olafur Eliasson, is a wireframe toroidal shape, which simultaneously hints at mathematics, life sciences, and fundamental physics, the three areas where prizes are awarded.  There is a nice photograph of it here.

The citations for the winners are given below, along with links to their author profiles on MathSciNet.  Congratulations Breakthrough Laureates!

 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics Awarded

Vincent Lafforgue – CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research, France) and Institut Fourier, Université Grenoble Alpes.

Citation: For ground-breaking contributions to several areas of mathematics, in particular to the Langlands program in the function field case.

New Horizons In Mathematics Prize

  • Chenyang Xu – Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research
    Citation: For major advances in the minimal model program and applications to the moduli of algebraic varieties.
  • Karim Adiprasito and June Huh – Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Institute for Advanced Study, respectively
    Citation: For the development, with Eric Katz, of combinatorial Hodge theory leading to the resolution of the log-concavity conjecture of Rota.
  • Kaisa Matomäki and Maksym Radziwill – University of Turku and California Institute of Technology, respectively
    Citation: For fundamental breakthroughs in the understanding of local correlations of values of multiplicative functions.

Don’t forget the Open House at Mathematical Reviews Saturday, October 20th!


Thank you to Don McClure for some help on the details of the Breakout Graduate Fellowships.

About Edward Dunne

I am the Executive Editor of Mathematical Reviews. Previously, I was an editor for the AMS Book Program for 17 years. Before working for the AMS, I had an academic career working at Rice University, Oxford University, and Oklahoma State University. In 1990-91, I worked for Springer-Verlag in Heidelberg. My Ph.D. is from Harvard. I received a world-class liberal arts education as an undergraduate at Santa Clara University.
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