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The Year in Math
Four Fields Medals were awarded for major breakthroughs in geometry, combinatorics, statistical physics and number theory, even as mathematicians continued to wrestle with how computers are changing the discipline.
A Solver of the Hardest Easy Problems About Prime Numbers
On his way to winning a Fields Medal, James Maynard has cut a path through simple-sounding questions about prime numbers that have stumped mathematicians for centuries.
For His Sporting Approach to Math, a Fields Medal
With Hugo Duminil-Copin, thinking rarely happens without moving. His insights into the flow-related properties of complex networks have earned him the Fields Medal.
He Dropped Out to Become a Poet. Now He’s Won a Fields Medal.
June Huh wasn’t interested in mathematics until a chance encounter during his sixth year of college. Now his profound insights connecting combinatorics and geometry have led to math’s highest honor.
In Times of Scarcity, War and Peace, a Ukrainian Finds the Magic in Math
With her homeland mired in war, the sphere-packing number theorist Maryna Viazovska has become the second woman to win a Fields Medal in the award’s 86-year history.
A Number Theorist Who Bridges Math and Time
Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”
A Master of Numbers and Shapes Who Is Rewriting Arithmetic
The 30-year-old math sensation Peter Scholze is now one of the youngest Fields medalists for “the revolution that he launched in arithmetic geometry.”
An Innovator Who Brings Order to an Infinitude of Equations
The mathematician Caucher Birkar was born on a subsistence farm and raised in the middle of the brutal war between Iran and Iraq. After fleeing to England, he has gone on to impose order on a wild landscape of mathematical equations.
A Traveler Who Finds Stability in the Natural World
The mathematician Alessio Figalli is rarely in one place for very long. But his work has established the stability of everything from crystals to weather fronts by using concepts derived from Napoleonic fortifications.