Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

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The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics is an annual award of the Breakthrough Prize series announced in 2013.

It is funded by Yuri Milner[1] and Mark Zuckerberg and others.[2] The annual award comes with a cash gift of $3 million. The Breakthrough Prize Board also selects up to three laureates for the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize which awards $100,000 to early-career researchers. Starting in 2021 (prizes announced in September 2020), the $50,000 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize is also awarded to a number of women mathematicians who have completed their PhDs within the past two years.


The founders of the prize have stated that they want to help scientists to be perceived as celebrities again, and to reverse a 50-year "downward trend".[3] They hope that this may make "more young students [...] aspire to be scientists".[3]


Year Portrait Laureate
Country Rationale Affiliation
2015[4] Simon Donaldson.jpg Simon Donaldson
(b. 1957)
 United Kingdom "for the new revolutionary invariants of 4-dimensional manifolds and for the study of the relation between stability in algebraic geometry and in global differential geometry, both for bundles and for Fano varieties."[5] Stony Brook University
Imperial College London
Maxim Kontsevich 1994 (headshot).jpg Maxim Kontsevich
(b. 1964)
"for work making a deep impact in a vast variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebraic geometry, deformation theory, symplectic topology, homological algebra and dynamical systems."[6] Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques
Jacob Lurie.jpg Jacob Lurie
(b. 1977)
 United States "for his work on the foundations of higher category theory and derived algebraic geometry; for the classification of fully extended topological quantum field theories; and for providing a moduli-theoretic interpretation of elliptic cohomology."[7] Harvard University
Terence Tao, PCAST Member (cropped).jpg Terence Tao
(b. 1975)
 United States
"for numerous breakthrough contributions to harmonic analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations and analytic number theory."[8] University of California, Los Angeles
Richard Taylor (mathematician).jpg Richard Taylor
(b. 1962)
 United Kingdom
 United States
"for numerous breakthrough results in the theory of automorphic forms, including the Taniyama–Weil conjecture, the local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups, and the Sato–Tate conjecture."[9] Institute for Advanced Study
2016 Ian Agol, Aarhus 2012.jpg Ian Agol
(b. 1970)
 United States "for spectacular contributions to low dimensional topology and geometric group theory, including work on the solutions of the tameness, virtually Haken and virtual fibering conjectures."[10][11] University of California, Berkeley
Institute for Advanced Study
2017 Jean Bourgain (vertical crop).jpg Jean Bourgain
 Belgium "for multiple transformative contributions to analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations, high-dimensional geometry and number theory."[12] Institute for Advanced Study
2018 Christopher Hacon.jpg Christopher Hacon
(b. 1970)
 United Kingdom
 United States
"for transformational contributions to birational algebraic geometry, especially to the minimal model program in all dimensions."[13][14] University of Utah
James McKernan.jpg James McKernan
(b. 1964)
 United Kingdom
 United Kingdom
University of California, San Diego
2019 Blank.png Vincent Lafforgue
(b. 1974)
 France "for ground breaking contributions to several areas of mathematics, in particular to the Langlands program in the function field case."[15] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Institut Fourier, Université Grenoble-Alpes
2020 Blank.png Alex Eskin
(b. 1965)
 United States
"for revolutionary discoveries in the dynamics and geometry of moduli spaces of Abelian differentials, including the proof of the 'magic wand theorem'."[16] University of Chicago
Maryam Mirzakhani in Seoul 2014.jpg Maryam Mirzakhani
(posthumously awarded)
 United States
Stanford University
2021 Professor Martin Hairer FRS.jpg Martin Hairer
(b. 1975)
 United Kingdom
"for transformative contributions to the theory of stochastic analysis, particularly the theory of regularity structures in stochastic partial differential equations."[17][18] Imperial College London
2022 Takuro Mochizuki cropped Takuro Mochizuki 20110412.jpg Takurō Mochizuki
(b. 1972)
 Japan "for monumental work leading to a breakthrough in our understanding of the theory of bundles with flat connections over algebraic varieties, including the case of irregular singularities."[19]" Kyoto University

New Horizons in Mathematics Prize[edit]

The past laureates of the New Horizons in Mathematics prize were:[20]

Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize[edit]

  • 2021
  • 2022
    • Sarah Peluse – "For contributions to arithmetic combinatorics and analytic number theory, particularly with regards to polynomial patterns in dense sets."
    • Hong Wang – "For advances on the restriction conjecture, the local smoothing conjecture, and related problems."
    • Yilin Wang – "For innovative and far-reaching work on the Loewner energy of planar curves."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Yuri Milner | Technology Investor & Science Philanthropist".
  2. ^ Overbye, Dennis (14 December 2013). "$3 Million Prizes Will Go to Mathematicians, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b Markoff, John (10 November 2015). "Breakthrough Prize Looks to Stars to Shine on Science". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018. Yuri Milner: 'We peaked 50 years ago and it has been a downward slope since then.'
  4. ^ Chang, Kenneth (23 June 2014). "The Multimillion-Dollar Minds of 5 Mathematical Masters". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Mathematics Breakthrough Prize > Laureates > Simon Donaldson". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  6. ^ "Mathematics Breakthrough Prize > Laureates > Maxim Kontsevich". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  7. ^ "Mathematics Breakthrough Prize > Laureates > Jacob Lurie". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  8. ^ "Mathematics Breakthrough Prize > Laureates > Terence Tao". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  9. ^ "Mathematics Breakthrough Prize > Laureates > Richard Taylor".
  10. ^ The New York Times (6 November 2015). "Breakthrough Prizes Give Top Scientists the Rock Star Treatment". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Mathematics Breakthrough Prize Laureates – Ian Agol".
  12. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Breakthrough Prize Marks 5th Anniversary Celebrating Top Achievements In Science And Awards More Than $25 Million In Prizes At Gala Ceremony In Silicon Valley".
  13. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Mathematics Breakthrough Prize Laureates – Christopher Hacon".
  14. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Mathematics Breakthrough Prize Laureates – James McKernan".
  15. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics Announced".
  16. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 2020 Breakthrough Prize In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced".
  17. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 2021 Breakthrough Prizes In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced".
  18. ^ Sample, Ian, ed. (September 10, 2020). "UK mathematician wins richest prize in academia" – via
  19. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 20212 Breakthrough Prizes In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced". Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Mathematics Breakthrough Prize – Laureates".

External links[edit]