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Italian professor wins Fields Medal, world's highest honor for mathematics

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-02 09:22
Italian Alessio Figalli shows his medal at a news conference during the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 1, 2018. [Photo/IC]

ROME - Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli has won the Fields Medal, which is awarded every four years to the most accomplished mathematicians in the world under the age of 40, the International Mathematical Union announced Wednesday.

The Rome-born 34-year-old has a PhD in mathematics from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon, France, and is a full professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where Albert Einstein once studied.

"His oeuvre, comprising around 150 publications, would be remarkable for a mathematician of retirement age; that he has produced so much at 34 is simply astonishing," the International Mathematical Union wrote. "More important than the sheer number of publications is their breadth and depth, which display a wide-ranging curiosity, brilliant insights, and supreme technical power."

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte congratulated Figalli on Twitter for obtaining this "prestigious recognition, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize."

This year's winners of the prize also include 40-year-old professor Caucher Birkar, a former refugee who found asylum in Britain; 30-year-old Peter Scholze from Germany; and Australia's Akshay Venkatesh, 36.

The last Italian winner of the medal was Enrico Bombieri in 1974.

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