MacArthur Foundation (Genius) Awards


The MacArthur Foundation has announced its list of prize winners this year. These awards, sometimes colloquially called “genius awards” are given to extraordinary, creative individuals in a broad variety of field. This year’s awards spans fields as diverse as history, poetry, computer science, graphic novel writing and of course mathematics.

Among the award winners we are delighted to celebrate the recognition of two mathematicians: Jacob Lurie of Harvard University who is being recognized for his entirely new conceptual understanding of derived algebraic geometry.

(Shameless name dropping: Ye old blog master ran into Jacob Lurie back in 1998; I was a 4th year grad student, he was a junior in high school and we were in the same advanced graduate class in the Ph.D program at Maryland. Needless to say he was by far the best student in the class. He started the class knowing nothing about the subject and ended the semester giving an alternate proof of theorems in the most recent published papers in the subject.)

and Yitang Zhang of University of New Hampshire who recently (see earlier blog post) made a striking advance toward the resolution of the Twim Prime Conjecture.

You can find the full list of award winners here:

The prize carried an unrestricted award (no strings attached stipend) of $625,000 given out over 5 years to help the Fellows continue on their creative journeys. Let us celebrate the amazing contributions of all 21 award winners!


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