Field of Science

The 2014 Fields and Nevanlinna prizes: Celebrating diversity

"And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." - John F. Kennedy
An Iranian woman, a first and a second generation Indian, an Englishman and a Brazilian. Most of them working in the United States - The 2014 Fields and Nevanlinna prizes celebrate diversity like no other.
Quanta Magazine has a wonderful set of profiles of this year's top math prize winners that are worth reading. 
Maryam Mirzakhani is especially notable as the first woman to win the prestigious prize. The profiles are accompanied by short videos. The prizewinners are a varied bunch whose interests and origins are spread across geography and mathematics. From topology to number theory, from geometry to chaos theory, they seem to have it all covered.

Diversity and bridge-building across nations and cultures have always been an important part of science - witness Eddington's confirmation of Einstein's general theory of relativity right after Germany and England had been embroiled in a catastrophic war. But in no field is this more apparent than in pure mathematics where people across the world can be connected purely by way of ideas, unencumbered by political or religious affiliations or commercial applications. Hopefully we can look forward to more such celebrations.


  1. Thanks for writing about this; it's brought me great joy to see Manjul Bhargava co-winning the prize. In addition to of course being incredibly brilliant Manjul is also such a friendly, funny and down to earth sort of guy. Could not happent o a nicer person.


    1. Indeed! I haven't met him but I very much get that impression of him from the interviews.


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