Ukrainian becomes second woman to win Fields maths medal

Published July 6, 2022
Maryna Viazovska presents her medal during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 (ICM 2022) in Helsinki on Tuesday.—AFP
Maryna Viazovska presents her medal during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 (ICM 2022) in Helsinki on Tuesday.—AFP

HELSINKI: Ukraine’s Maryna Viazovska paid tribute to those suffering in her war-torn country on Tuesday when she became the second woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, known as the Nobel prize for mathematics.

Viazovska, a 37-year-old maths professor, received the prestigious award alongside three other winners at a ceremony in Helsinki.

“I am from Kyiv, Ukraine, and in February my life changed forever” when Moscow invaded, she said in a video displayed at the ceremony.

“Not only for me but for everyone in the world and especially the people in my country,” she said, adding that her two sisters had been evacuated from Kyiv.

“Right now Ukrainians are really paying the highest price for our beliefs and our freedom.” The International Congress of Mathematicians, the event where the prize is awarded, was initially scheduled to be held in Russia’s second city, Saint Petersburg, and opened by President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier in the year hundreds of mathematicians signed an open letter protesting at the choice of the host city, and after Moscow invaded Ukraine the event was moved to the Finnish capital.

The other Fields winners were France’s Hugo Duminil-Copin of the University of Geneva, Britain’s James Maynard of Oxford University and June Huh of Princeton in the United States.

The medal, along with $15,000 Canadian dollars ($11,600), is awarded every four years to between two to four candidates under the age of 40 for “outstanding mathematical achievement”.

Viazovska was born in 1984 in Ukraine and has been chair of number theory at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne since 2018.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2022

Opinion

A crisis of trust?

A crisis of trust?

Most damaging fallout of the constant demonisation of opponents by political leaders is erosion of public trust in politicians.

Editorial

An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...
Political stunt
Updated 07 Aug, 2022

Political stunt

The former PM is attempting to make a very expensive point with his decision to contest all 9 NA seats going up for by-election.
Monsoon emergency
07 Aug, 2022

Monsoon emergency

AS another wet weather system has entered Pakistan, and the federal government has declared a “monsoon...
Taliban’s denial
07 Aug, 2022

Taliban’s denial

THE Afghan Taliban’s recent statement denying any knowledge of the now deceased Al Qaeda chief Ayman...