August 1, 2022 at 1:36 am

Four Mathematicians Won the Prestigious Fields Medal for Their Amazing Work

by Matthew Gilligan

The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to either two, three, or four mathematicians under the age of 40 and this year’s four winners are nothing short of outstanding.

Maryna Viazovska was born in Ukraine and now calls Switzerland home. She works at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and won her Fields Medal for her work on the the E8 lattice.

This arrangement shows how to pack spheres in eight dimensions in the least amount of space possible. Viazovska said “Sphere packing is a very natural geometric problem. You have a big box, and you have infinite collection of equal balls, and you’re trying to put as many balls into the box as you can.” She is trying to densely pack squares into 24 dimensions.

Hugo Duminil-Copin hails from France and was awarded for his research on how matter changes form. This is called the probabilistic theory of phase transitions.

His work focuses on focuses on how ferromagnetic objects transition from a nonmagnetic to magnetic phase in what’s called the Ising model.

June Huh is a professor at Princeton University and won the Fields Medal for a number of topics he worked on, including applying geometric concepts to combinatorics, which is the mathematics of counting.

Funny enough, Huh actually dropped out of school to be a poet and didn’t fall in love with mathematics until he was 23.

And James Maynard of Oxford University won the medal for his breakthrough in the study of Prime Numbers.

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