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Department of Mathematics congratulates winner of the world’s most prestigious maths prize

Delegates at the Calculus of Variations and Geometric Measure Theory conference on campus in July 2018, including Professor Alessio Figalli who is fifth from left.

A recent visitor to the University of Sussex’s Mathematics Department has won the world’s most famous maths prize, the Fields Medal. Professor Alessio Figalli, who is one of four winners of the prestigious prize, is a research co-author of Dr Filippo Cagnetti, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Sussex.

The University of Sussex’s Mathematics Department were treated to a visit by Prof Figalli in July for the Calculus of Variations and Geometric Measure Theory conference, which was organised by Dr Cagnetti along with PhD student Matteo Perugini.

Professor Michael Melgaard, Head of the Mathematics department at Sussex, said: “The whole of the Sussex mathematics department send their heartfelt congratulations to Alessio for his hugely well-deserved win.”

Dr Cagnetti says: “Seeing Alessio receiving the Fields medal in Rio has been incredibly emotional. I am particularly happy because this prize goes not only to an amazing scientist, but also to a great person. He is extremely generous with his colleagues, and is always happy to share ideas.”

Prof Figalli is based in Switzerland at ETH Zurich. His area of mathematics is optimal transport and he has shown how clouds, soap bubbles and crystals relate mathematically to transport costs. He has been awarded the Medal ‘for contributions to the theory of optimal transport and its applications in partial differential equations, metric geometry and probability’.

The Fields Medal was first awarded in 1936. It is presented every four years to up to four mathematicians who are under the age of 40. The winners receive a medal and prize money 15,000 Canadian dollars (£8,750).

The prizes were awarded at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union in Rio de Janeiro on 1 August this year.

The other three winners are Prof Caucher Birkar, 40, from Cambridge University, Prof Akshay Venkatesh, 36, an Australian based at Princeton and Stanford in the US and Prof Peter Scholze, 30, from Bonn University.

By: Anna Ford
Last updated: Monday, 6 August 2018