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What is Fields Medal?


Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was named as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described as the Nobel Prize in mathematics.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Fields Medal?
  2. History of the Medal
  3. Indian-origin winners

What is Fields Medal?

  • The Fields Medal is awarded by the International Mathematical Union (IMU), an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organisation.
  • It is awarded every four years to one or more mathematicians under the age of 40 in recognition of “outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement”.
  • The winners are announced at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), which was supposed to be held in Russia this year, but was moved to Helsinki.
  • The honour carries a physical medal of 14K gold, 63.5 mm in diameter and weighing 169 g, and with a unit price of approximately 5,500 Canadian dollars.
  • There is also a cash award of CAD 15,000.
  • The obverse of the medal is embossed with the head of Archimedes facing right, and some Latin quotes.

History of the Medal

  • According to the IMU website, the 1924 ICM in Toronto adopted a resolution that at each conference, two gold medals would be awarded to recognise outstanding mathematical achievement.
  • The Canadian mathematician Prof J C Fields, who was secretary of the 1924 Congress, later donated funds to establish the medals, which were named in his honour.
  • In 1966, it was agreed that, in light of the great expansion of mathematical research, up to four medals could be awarded at each Congress.

Indian-origin winners

  • Among the more than 60 mathematicians who have been awarded the Fields Medal since 1936, there are two of Indian origin.
  • Akshay Venkatesh of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, won in 2018, the last time the honour was announced.
  • Manjul Bhargava of the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University was awarded in 2014.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023