From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Fields Medal
Mains level : NA
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.
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.
Belongings of the award
- 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.
- 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.