Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Subhash Khot wins Nevanlinna

At the opening ceremonies of the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2014, Subhash Khot was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, given every four years to an under-40 researcher for outstanding contributions in Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences. Subhash's citation reads
Subhash Khot is awarded the Nevanlinna Prize for his prescient definition of the “Unique Games” problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimization problems; his work has led to breakthroughs in algorithmic design and approximation hardness, and to new exciting interactions between computational complexity, analysis and geometry.
Khot's work has indeed generated a large research agenda over the last decade. I highlighted his work in March's favorite theorems post.

In other big news, we have our first female Fields Medalist Maryam Mirzakhani for contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces. Still no female winners among the nine Nevanlinna winners. Artur Avila, Manjul Bhargava and Martin Hairer also received Fields medalists. Stanley Osher won the Gauss Prize, Phillip Griffiths the Chern Medal and Adrián Paenza the Leelavati Prize.

Pictures and press releases and citations of all the prize winners.


  1. There are also nice portraits of the medalists on the Simons Foundation website:

    Subhash Khot: http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140812-a-grand-vision-for-the-impossible

    Artur Avila: http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140812-a-brazilian-wunderkind-who-calms-chaos

    Manjul Bhargava: http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140812-the-musical-magical-number-theorist

    Martin Hairer: http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140808-in-mathematical-noise-one-who-heard-music

    Maryam Mirzakhani: http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140812-a-tenacious-explorer-of-abstract-surfaces

  2. Congrads to Khot whose work I sort-of understand.
    Congrads to Mirzakhani whose work I never will.

    Both the Fields medal and the Abel prize have been called the Nobel Prize of Mathematics. The Fields medal is much older and I think better known. The Abel prize has no age restriction and the prize money is similar to that for the Nobel
    (Fields is 15,000, Abel is 1,000,000, Nobel is 1,200,000- all numbers approx).
    I would go with the Abel being the Nobel of Math.

  3. Bill, they are compared to Nobel just to explain their importance since most people wouldn't have heard of them. Arguing which one looks closer seems pointless to me.