UK home grown Kurdish mathematician wins Fields Medal

The London Mathematical Society (LMS) would like to congratulate this year’s Fields Medalists, in particular UK based mathematician Professor Caucher Birkar (University of Cambridge) who has received his award for his ‘proof of the boundedness of Fano varieties and for contributions to the minimal model program’, and Professor Peter Scholze (University of Bonn) ‘for transforming arithmetic algebraic geometry over p-adic fields through his introduction of perfectoid spaces, with application to galois representations and for the development of new cohomology theories’.

Professor Birkar is also the recipient of this year’s LMS Whitehead Prize. He was the LMS Cecil King Travel Scholar in 2003 and has published in Compositio Mathematica. Birkar is the first UK home educated matheamtician awarded the Fields Medals in the past 20 years and the first to be educated outside Oxbridge and London. He was awarded his PhD from the UIniversity of Nottingham under the supervision of Professor Ivan Fesenko.

Professor Scholze was elected an Honorary Member of the LMS this year and he sits on the Compositio Mathematica Editorial Board. 

The other two medalists are Professor Alessio Figalli (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) who received his award for his ‘contributions to the theory of optimal transport, and its application to partial differential equations, metric geometry, and probability’ and Professor Akshay Venkatesh (Stanford University) for his ‘synthesis of analytic number theory, homogeneous dynamics, topology, and representation theory, which has resolved long-standing problems in areas such as the equidistribution of arithmetic objects’.

The Medals were awarded at the Opening Ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Professor Caroline Series, LMS President, said: 'I would like to offer my  heartiest congratulations to all the 2018 Fields medallists, in particular Caucher Birkar of the University of Cambridge. I am delighted to have been present at the opening ceremony when the winners were announced. I will be presenting Peter with his LMS Honorary Membership certificate in Rio'.