Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal
Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal, becoming the second woman to win it in the award’s history.
On July 5, 2022, Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was named as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize in mathematics. Maryna Viazovska has become the second woman to win a Fields Medal in the award’s 86-year history.
The International Mathematical Union said Viazovska, who holds the chair in number theory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, was being honored for her work on the densest packing of identical spheres in eight dimensions.
Like other Fields medalists, Viazovska “manages to do things that are completely non-obvious that lots of people tried and failed to do,” said the mathematician Henry Cohn, who was asked to give the official ICM talk celebrating her work. Unlike others, he said, “she does them by uncovering very simple, natural, profound structures, things that nobody expected and that nobody else had been able to find.”
The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to mathematicians under age 40. The recipients are normally announced at the International Congress of Mathematicians, which was originally due to be held in Russia this year but moved to Helsinki instead.
“The ongoing barbaric war that Russia still continues to wage against Ukraine clearly shows that no other alternative was feasible,” the President of the International Mathematical Union, Carlos E. Kenig, said.