Jean Bourgain Awarded Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics
December 04, 2016
« Jean Bourgain, IBM von Neumann Professor in the School of Mathematics, has received the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, for multiple transformative contributions to analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations, high-dimensional geometry, and number theory. A member of the Institute Faculty since 1994, Bourgain was cited by the prize committee for solving major problems in vector spaces, as well as extender graphs ; proving one of the two most fundamental theorems in ergodic theory ; and developing novel techniques and insights applicable across a wide range of fields. A 1994 recipient of the Fields Medal, Bourgain has produced important work with impact across theoretical computer science, group expansion, spectral gaps, and the theory of exponential sums in number theory.
Previously announced Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics winners in the Institute’s School of Mathematics include Richard Taylor, Robert and Luisa Fernholz Professor ; Ian Agol, Distinguished Visiting Professor (2015–16) in the School ; and former Members Simon Donaldson (1983–84), Maxim Kontsevich (2002, 1992–93), and Terence Tao (2005). In 2012, four Institute Faculty members in the School of Natural Sciences—Nima Arkani-Hamed, Juan Maldacena, Nathan Seiberg, and Edward Witten—each won the inaugural Fundamental Physics Prize.
The Breakthrough Prizes, now in their fifth year, were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner to recognize the world’s top scientists. Since its inception in 2012, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded close to $200 million to honor paradigm-shifting research in the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences, and mathematics. Laureates attend a televised awards ceremony, which this year took place on December 4, designed to inspire the next generations of scientists and engage in lectures and discussions. »