Fields Medal

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Not to be confused with Field's metal.
Fields Medal
FieldsMedalFront.jpg
The obverse of the Fields Medal
Awarded for Outstanding contributions in mathematics attributed to young scientists
Country Varies
Presented by International Mathematical Union (IMU)
Reward C$15,000
First awarded 1936 (1936)
Last awarded 2014
Official website www.mathunion.org/general/prizes/fields/details

The Fields Medal, officially known as International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, 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 (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. The Fields Medal is often viewed as the greatest honour a mathematician can receive.[1][2] The Fields Medal and the Abel Prize have often been described as the "mathematician's Nobel Prize" (but different at least for the age restriction).

The prize comes with a monetary award, which since 2006 has been C$15,000 (in Canadian dollars).[3][4] The colloquial name is in honour of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields.[5] Fields was instrumental in establishing the award, designing the medal itself, and funding the monetary component.[5]

The medal was first awarded in 1936 to Finnish mathematician Lars Ahlfors and American mathematician Jesse Douglas, and it has been awarded every four years since 1950. Its purpose is to give recognition and support to younger mathematical researchers who have made major contributions.

In 2014 Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman as well as the first Iranian, and Artur Avila became the first mathematician from Latin America to be awarded a Fields Medal.[6][7]

Conditions of the award

The Fields Medal is often described as the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics" and for a long time was regarded as the most prestigious award in the field of mathematics.[8] However, in contrast to the Nobel Prize, the Fields Medal is awarded only every four years. The Fields Medal also has an age limit: a recipient must be under age 40 until 1 January of the year in which the medal is awarded (similar to the Clark Medal in economics). The under 40 rule is based on Fields' desire that "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."[9]

The monetary award is much lower than the 8,000,000 Swedish kronor (roughly 1,400,000 Canadian dollars)[10] given with each Nobel prize as of 2014.[11] Other major awards in mathematics, such as the Abel Prize and the Chern Medal, have a larger monetary prizes, comparable to the Nobel.

Fields medalists

Year ICM Location Medalists[12] Affiliation (When Awarded) Birthplace Current/Last Affiliation Citation
1936 Oslo, Norway Lars Ahlfors University of Helsinki, Finland Finland Harvard University, US[13][14] "Awarded medal for research on covering surfaces related to Riemann surfaces of inverse functions of entire and meromorphic functions. Opened up a new fileds of analysis."
Jesse Douglas Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US United States City College of New York, US[15][16] "Did important work of the Plateau problem which is concerned with finding minimal surfaces connecting and determined by some fixed boundary."
1950 Cambridge, US Laurent Schwartz University of Nancy, France France University of Paris VII, France[17][18] "Developed the theory of distributions, a new notion of generalized function motivated by the Dirac delta-function of theoretical physics."
Atle Selberg Institute for Advanced Study, US Norway Institute for Advanced Study, US[19] "Developed generalizations of the sieve methods of Viggo Brun; achieved major results on zeros of the Riemann zeta function; gave an elementary proof of the prime number theorem (with P. Erdös), with a generalization to prime numbers in an arbitrary arithmetic progression."
1954 Amsterdam, Netherland Kunihiko Kodaira Institute for Advanced Study, US

Princeton University, US

Japan University of Tokyo, Japan[20] "Achieved major results in the theory of harmonic integrals and numerous applications to Kählerian and more specifically to algebraic varieties. He demonstrated, by sheaf cohomology, that such varieties are Hodge manifolds."
Jean-Pierre Serre University of Nancy, France France Collège de France, France[21][22] "Achieved major results on the homotopy groups of spheres, especially in his use of the method of spectral sequences. Reformulated and exented some of the main results of complex variable theory in terms of sheaves."
1958 Edinburgh, UK Klaus Roth University College London, UK Weimar Republic Imperial College London, UK[23] "Solved in 1955 the famous Thue-Siegel problem concerning the approximation to algebraic numbers by rational numbers and proved in 1952 that a sequence with no three numbers in arithmetic progression has zero density (a conjecture of Erdös and Turán of 1935)."
René Thom University of Strasbourg, France France Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France[24] "In 1954 invented and developed the theory of cobordism in algebraic topology. This classification of manifolds used homotopy theory in a fundamental way and became a prime example of a general cohomology theory."
1962 Stockholm, Sweden Lars Hörmander University of Stockholm, Sweden Sweden Lund University, Sweden[25] "Worked in partial diffential equations. Specifically, contributed to the general theory of linear differential operators. The questions go back to one of Hilbert's problems at the 1900 congress."
John Milnor Princeton University, US United States Stony Brook University, US[26] "Proved that a 7-dimensional sphere can have several differential structures; this led to the creation of the field of differential topology."
1966 Moscow, USSR Michael Atiyah University of Oxford, UK United Kingdom University of Edinburgh, UK[27] "Did joint work with Hirzebruch in K-theory; proved jointly with Singer the index theorem of elliptic operators on complex manifolds; worked in collaboration with Bott to prove a fixed point theorem related to the "Lefschetz formula"."
Paul Joseph Cohen Stanford University, US United States Stanford University, US[28] "Used technique called "forcing" to prove the independence in set theory of the axiom of choice and of the generalized continuum hypothesis. The latter problem was the first of Hilbert's problems of the 1900 Congress."
Alexander Grothendieck Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France Weimar Republic Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France[29] "Built on work of Weil and Zariski and effected fundamental advances in algebraic geometry. He introduced the idea of K-theory (the Grothendieck groups and rings). Revolutionized homological algebra in his celebrated "Tohoku paper""
Stephen Smale University of California, Berkeley, US United States City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong[30] "Worked in differential topology where he proved the generalized Poincaré conjecture in dimension n>=5: Every closed, n-dimensional manifold homotopy-equivalent to the n-dimensional sphere is homeomorphic to it. Introduced the method of handle-bodies to solve this and related problems."
1970 Nice, France Alan Baker University of Cambridge, UK United Kingdom Trinity College, Cambridge, UK[31] "Generalized the Gelfond-Schneider theorem (the solution to Hilbert's seventh problem). From this work he generated transcendental numbers not previously identified."
Heisuke Hironaka Harvard University, US Japan Kyoto University, Japan[32][33] "Generalized work of Zariski who had proved for dimension"
John G. Thompson University of Cambridge, UK United States University of Cambridge, UK [34] "Proved jointly with W. Feit that all non-cyclic finite simple groups have even order. The extension of this work by Thompson determined the minimal simple finite groups, that is, the simple finite groups whose proper subgroups are solvable."
Sergei Novikov Moscow State University, USSR USSR Steklov Mathematical Institute, Russia

Moscow State University, Russia

University of Maryland-College Park, US[35][36]

"Made important advances in topology, the most well-known being his proof of the topological invariance of the Pontrjagin classes of the differentiable manifold. His work included a study of the cohomology and homotopy of Thom spaces."
1974 Vancouver, Canada Enrico Bombieri University of Pisa, Italy Italy Institute for Advanced Study, US[37] "Major contributions in the primes, in univalent functions and the local Bieberbach conjecture, in theory of functions of several complex variables, and in theory of partial differential equations and minimal surfaces - in particular, to the solution of Bernstein's problem in higher dimensions."
David Mumford Harvard University, US United States Brown University, US[38] "Contributed to problems of the existence and structure of varieties of moduli, varieties whose points parametrize isomorphism classes of some type of geometric object. Also made several important contributions to the theory of algebraic surfaces."
1978 Helsinki, Finland Pierre Deligne Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France Belgium Institute for Advanced Study, US[39] "Gave solution of the three Weil conjectures concerning generalizations of the Riemann hypothesis to finite fields. His work did much to unify algebraic geometry and algebraic number theory."
Charles Fefferman Princeton University, US United States Princeton University, US[40] "Contributed several innovations that revised the study of multidimensional complex analysis by finding correct generalizations of classical (low-dimensional) results."
Daniel Quillen Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US United States University of Oxford, UK[41] "The prime architect of the higher algebraic K-theory, a new tool that successfully employed geometric and topological methods and ideas to formulate and solve major problems in algebra, particularly ring theory and module theory."
Grigori Margulis Princeton University, US USSR Yale University, US[42] "Provided innovative analysis of the structure of Lie groups. His work belongs to combinatorics, differential geometry, ergodic theory, dynamical systems, and Lie groups."
1982 Warsaw, Poland Alain Connes Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France France Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France

Collège de France, France

Ohio State University, US[43]

"Contributed to the theory of operator algebras, particularly the general classification and structure theorem of factors of type III, classification of automorphisms of the hyperfinite factor, classification of injective factors, and applications of the theory of C*-algebras to foliations and differential geometry in general."
William Thurston Princeton University, US United States Cornell University, US[44] "Revolutionized study of topology in 2 and 3 dimensions, showing interplay between analysis, topology, and geometry. Contributed idea that a very large class of closed 3-manifolds carry a hyperbolic structure."
Shing-Tung Yau Institute for Advanced Study, US China Harvard University, US[45] "Made contributions in differential equations, also to the Calabi conjecture in algebraic geometry, to the positive mass conjecture of general relativity theory, and to real and complex Monge-Ampère equations."
1986 Berkeley, US Simon Donaldson University of Oxford, UK United Kingdom Imperial College London, UK[46] "Received medal primarily for his work on topology of four-manifolds, especially for showing that there is a differential structure on euclidian four-space which is different from the usual structure."
Gerd Faltings Princeton University, US West Germany Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Germany[47] "Using methods of arithmetic algebraic geometry, he received medal primarily for his proof of the Mordell Conjecture."
Michael Freedman University of California, San Diego, US United States Microsoft Station Q, US[48] "Developed new methods for topological analysis of four-manifolds. One of his results is a proof of the four-dimensional Poincaré Conjecture."
1990 Kyoto, Japan Vladimir Drinfeld University of Kharkiv, USSR USSR University of Chicago, US[49] "For his work on quantum groups and for his work in number theory."
Vaughan F. R. Jones University of California, Berkeley, US New Zealand University of California, Berkeley, US,[50]

Vanderbilt University, US[51]

"for his discovery of an unexpected link between the mathematical study of knots – a field that dates back to the 19th century – and statistical mechanics, a form of mathematics used to study complex systems with large numbers of components."
Shigefumi Mori Kyoto University, Japan Japan Kyoto University, Japan[52] "for the proof of Hartshorne’s conjecture and his work on the classification of three-dimensional algebraic varieties."
Edward Witten Institute for Advanced Study, US United States Institute for Advanced Study, US[53] "... his ability to interpret physical ideas in mathematical form is quite unique."[54]
1994 Zurich, Switzerland Jean Bourgain Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France Belgium Institute for Advanced Study, France[55] "Bourgain's work touches on several central topics of mathematical analysis: the geometry of Banach spaces, convexity in high dimensions, harmonic analysis, ergodic theory, and finally, nonlinear partial differential equations from mathematical physics."
Pierre-Louis Lions Paris Dauphine University, France France Collège de France, France

École polytechnique, France[56]

"... such nonlinear partial differential equation simply do not have smooth or even C1 solutions existing after short times. ... The only option is therefore to search for some kind of "weak" solution. This undertaking is in effect to figure out how to allow for certain kinds of "physically correct" singularities and how to forbid others. ... Lions and Crandall at last broke open the problem by focusing attention on viscosity solutions, which are defined in terms of certain inequalities holding wherever the graph of the solution is touched on one side or the other by a smooth test function."
Jean-Christophe Yoccoz Paris-Sud 11 University, France France Collège de France, France[57] "proving stability properties - dynamic stability, such as that sought for the solar system, or structural stability, meaning persistence under parameter changes of the global properties of the system."
Efim Zelmanov University of California, San Diego, US USSR Steklov Mathematical Institute, Russia,

University of California, San Diego, US[58]

"For his solution to the restricted Burnside problem."
1998 Berlin, Germany Richard Borcherds University of California, Berkeley, US

University of Cambridge, UK

South Africa University of California, Berkeley, US[59] "for his work on the introduction of vertex algebras, the proof of the Moonshine conjecture and for his discovery of a new class of automorphic infinite products"
Timothy Gowers University of Cambridge, UK United Kingdom University of Cambridge, UK[60] "William Timothy Gowers has provided important contributions to functional analysis, making extensive use of methods from combination theory. These two fields apparently have little to do with each other, and a significant achievement of Gowers has been to combine these fruitfully."
Maxim Kontsevich Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France

Rutgers University, US

USSR Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France

Rutgers University, US[61]

"contributions to four problems of geometry"
Curtis T. McMullen Harvard University, US United States Harvard University, US[62] "He has made important contributions to various branches of the theory of dynamical systems, such as the algorithmic study of polynomial equations, the study of the distribution of the points of a lattice of a Lie group, hyperbolic geometry, holomorphic dynamics and the renormalization of maps of the interval."
2002 Beijing, China Laurent Lafforgue Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France France Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France[63] "Laurent Lafforgue has been awarded the Fields Medal for his proof of the Langlands correspondence for the full linear groups

GLr (r≥1

) over function fields."

Vladimir Voevodsky Institute for Advanced Study, US USSR Institute for Advanced Study, US[64] " he defined and developed motivic cohomology and the

A1-homotopy theory of algebraic varieties; he proved the Milnor conjectures on the K-theory of fields"

2006 Madrid, Spain Andrei Okounkov Princeton University, US USSR Columbia University, US[65] "for his contributions bridging probability,

representation theory and algebraic geometry"

Grigori Perelman None USSR Steklov Mathematical Institute, Russia[66] "for his contributions to geometry and his revolutionary insights into the analytical and geometric structure of the Ricci flow"
Terence Tao University of California, Los Angeles, US Australia University of California, Los Angeles, US[67] "for his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory "
Wendelin Werner Paris-Sud 11 University, France West Germany ETH Zurich, Switzerland[68] "for his contributions to the development of stochastic Loewner evolution, the geometry of two-dimensional Brownian motion, and conformal field theory"
2010 Hyderabad, India Elon Lindenstrauss Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Princeton University, US

Israel Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel[69] "For his results on measure rigidity in ergodic theory, and their applications to number theory."
Ngô Bảo Châu Paris-Sud 11 University, France

Institute for Advanced Study, US

North Vietnam Paris-Sud 11 University, France

University of Chicago, US

Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study, Vietnam[70]

"For his proof of the Fundamental Lemma in the theory of automorphic forms through the introduction of new algebro-geometric methods"
Stanislav Smirnov University of Geneva, Switzerland USSR University of Geneva, Switzerland[71] "For the proof of conformal invariance of percolation and the planar Ising model in statistical physics"
Cédric Villani École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France

Institut Henri Poincaré, France

France Lyon University, France

Institut Henri Poincaré, France[72]

"For his proofs of nonlinear Landau damping and convergence to equilibrium for the Boltzmann equation."
2014 Seoul, South Korea Artur Avila Paris Diderot University, France

CNRS, France

Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Brazil

Brazil Paris Diderot University, France

CNRS, France

Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Brazil[73]

"is awarded a Fields Medal 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."
Manjul Bhargava Princeton University, US Canada Princeton University, US[74][75] "is awarded a Fields Medal 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 University of Warwick, UK Austria University of Warwick, UK[76][77][78] "is awarded a Fields Medal 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."
Maryam Mirzakhani Stanford University, US Iran Stanford University, US[79][80] "is awarded the Fields Medal for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces."
2018 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil[81] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Landmarks

In 1954, Jean-Pierre Serre became the youngest winner of the Fields Medal, at 27. He still retains this distinction.

In 1966, Alexander Grothendieck boycotted the ICM, held in Moscow, to protest Soviet military actions taking place in Eastern Europe.[82] Léon Motchane, founder and director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques attended and accepted Grothendieck's Fields Medal on his behalf.[83]

In 1970, Sergei Novikov, because of restrictions placed on him by the Soviet government, was unable to travel to the congress in Nice to receive his medal.

In 1978, Grigory Margulis, because of 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: "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."[84]

In 1982, the congress was due to be held in Warsaw but had to be rescheduled to the next year, because of martial law introduced in Poland 13 Dec 1981. The awards were announced at the ninth General Assembly of the IMU earlier in the year and awarded at the 1983 Warsaw congress.

In 1990, Edward Witten became the first and so far only physicist to win this award.

In 1998, at the ICM, Andrew Wiles was presented by the chair of the Fields Medal Committee, Yuri I. 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.[85] 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 Taylor and Wiles) in the proof was found in 1993.[86][87]

In 2006, Grigori Perelman, who proved the Poincaré conjecture, refused his Fields Medal[3] and did not attend the congress.[88] Ironically, this attracted the public attention he was trying to avoid.

In 2014, Artur Avila was the first Brazilian and Latin American awarded the Fields Medal. The same year, Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win this award, as well as the first Iranian person to do so.

Number of Fields Medallists by country of origin

 United States 12 Jesse Douglas, 1936John Milnor, 1962Paul Cohen, 1966Stephen Smale, 1966John G. Thompson, 1970David Mumford, 1974Charles Fefferman, 1978Daniel Quillen, 1978William Thurston, 1982Michael Freedman, 1986Edward Witten, 1990Curtis T. McMullen, 1998
 Soviet Union 9 Sergei Novikov, 1970Grigory Margulis, 1978Vladimir Drinfeld, 1990Efim Zelmanov, 1994Maxim Kontsevich, 1998Vladimir Voevodsky, 2002Andrei Okounkov, 2006Grigori Perelman, 2006Stanislav Smirnov, 2010
 France 8 Laurent Schwartz, 1950Jean-Pierre Serre, 1954René Thom, 1958Alain Connes, 1982Pierre-Louis Lions, 1994Jean-Christophe Yoccoz, 1994Laurent Lafforgue, 2002Cédric Villani, 2010
 United Kingdom 5 Michael Atiyah, 1966Alan Baker, 1970Simon Donaldson, 1986Richard Borcherds, 1998Timothy Gowers, 1998
 West Germany (2) /  Germany (2) 4 Gerd Faltings, 1986Wendelin Werner, 2006Klaus Roth, 1958Alexander Grothendieck, 1966
 Japan 3 Kunihiko Kodaira, 1954Heisuke Hironaka, 1970Shigefumi Mori, 1990
 Belgium 2 Pierre Deligne, 1978Jean Bourgain, 1994
 Austria 1 Martin Hairer, 2014
 Australia 1 Terence Tao, 2006
 Brazil 1 Artur Avila, 2014
 British Hong Kong 1 Shing-Tung Yau, 1982
 Canada 1 Manjul Bhargava, 2014
 Finland 1 Lars Ahlfors, 1936
 Iran 1 Maryam Mirzakhani, 2014
 Israel 1 Elon Lindenstrauss, 2010
 Italy 1 Enrico Bombieri, 1974
 Norway 1 Atle Selberg, 1950
 New Zealand 1 Vaughan F. R. Jones, 1990
 Sweden 1 Lars Hörmander, 1962
 Vietnam 1 Ngô Bảo Châu, 2010


Number of Fields Medallists by working institutions

Upon appointment, the Fields medalists were working in the following institutions:[89]

Princeton University 8 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Paris[90] 7 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Institute for Advanced Study 6 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques 5 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Cambridge 4 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Harvard University 4 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Oxford 3 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of California, Berkeley 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Free University of Brussels 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Moscow State University 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
Stanford University 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University College London 2 Médaille Fields miniature.PNGMédaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Warwick 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of California, Los Angeles 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of California, San Diego 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Geneva 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Kharkiv 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
Kyoto University 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Nancy 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Pisa 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
Rutgers University 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Stockholm 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Strasbourg 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
University of Wisconsin 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG
Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada 1 Médaille Fields miniature.PNG


The medal

The medal was designed by Canadian sculptor R. Tait McKenzie.[91]

  • On the obverse is Archimedes and a quote attributed to Marcus Manilius which reads in Latin: "Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri" (Rise above oneself and grasp the world). The date is written in Roman numerals and contains an error ("MCNXXXIII" rather than "MCMXXXIII").[92]
The reverse of the Fields Medal
  • On the reverse is the inscription (in Latin):
CONGREGATI
EX TOTO ORBE
MATHEMATICI
OB SCRIPTA INSIGNIA
TRIBUERE

Translation: "Mathematicians gathered from the entire world have awarded [understood "this prize"] for outstanding writings."

In the background, there is the representation of Archimedes' tomb, with the carving illustrating his theorem on the sphere and the cylinder, behind a branch. (This is the mathematical result of which Archimedes was reportedly most proud: Given a sphere and a circumscribed cylinder of the same height and diameter, the ratio between their volumes is equal to 2/3.)

The rim bears the name of the prizewinner.

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Reclusive Russian turns down math world's highest honour". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Maths genius turns down top prize". BBC. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2006. 
  4. ^ Israeli wins 'Nobel' of Mathematics, JPost.com
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Further reading

  • McKinnon Riehm, Elaine; Hoffman, Frances (2011). Turbulent Times in Mathematics: The Life of J.C. Fields and the History of the Fields Medal. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society. ISBN 0-8218-6914-0. 
  • Monastyrsky, Michael (1998). Modern Mathematics in the Light of the Fields Medal. Wellesley, MA: A. K. Peters. ISBN 1-56881-083-0. 
  • Tropp, Henry S. (1976). "The Origins and History of the Fields Medal". Historia Mathematica 3 (2): 167–181. doi:10.1016/0315-0860(76)90033-1. .

External links