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The Leelavati Prize, which is given by the International Mathematical Union once in every four years, has been awarded to Prof. Dr. Ali Nesin this year.
At the International Congress of Mathematicians held in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, three prizes, namely Gauss, Nevanlinna and Leelavati, as well as Fields and Chern Medals have been given.
One of the winners of the Fields Medal, which has been given to four people this year and known as the "Nobel Prize for mathematics", has been the Iran-born geometrician Prof. Dr. Caucher Birkar from the University of Cambridge.
* Caucher Birkar
Apart from Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze and Akshay Venkatesh have also been awarded the Fields Medal. Other prizes and medals and their recipients are as follows:
* Gauss Prize - David Donoho
* Chern Medal - Masaki Kashiwara
* Nevanlinna Prize - Constantinos Daskalakis
Birkar: I hope that I put a smile on the faces of 40 million Kurds
Prof. Dr. Birkar, whose medal was stolen shortly after he received it, spoke to the science magazine Quanta about the prize.
Birkar stated, "I looked at the wall of the math club in Tehran University, where the pictures of Fields medalists lined the walls, and said to myself, 'Will I ever meet one of these people?' At that time in Iran, I couldn't even know that I'd be able to go to the West."
Birkar also added, "War-ridden Kurdistan was an unlikely place for a kid to develop an interest in mathematics. I'm hoping that this news will put a smile on the faces of those 40 million people."
About Caucher Birkar
Caucher Birkar was born in the city of Marivan in Iran and studied mathematics at the University of Tehran before coming to the UK in 2000. After a year, he was granted refugee status, became a British citizen and began his PhD.
In 2004, he completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham with the thesis "Topics in modern algebraic geometry". Throughout his career, birational geometry has been his main area of interest.
In 2010, the year in which he was awarded by the Foundation Sciences Mathématiques de Paris, Birkar wrote, alongside Paolo Cascini (Imperial College London), Christopher Hacon (University of Utah) and James McKernan (University of California, San Diego), an article called "Existence of minimal models for varieties of general log type" that revolutionised the field. The article earned the quartet the AMS Moore Prize in 2016.
About Ali Nesin
Ali Nesin is the Head of Mathematics Department at İstanbul Bilgi University, the Chief Editor of the Nesin Publishing House, a member of the Advisory Board of Hrant Dink Foundation, the founding member of the Human Rights Institution of Turkey (TİHAK) and the founder of the Mathematics Village in the district of Şirince in İzmir.
Born in 1956 in İstanbul, Ali Nesin graduated from Paris VII University and received the degree of "maitrise" in the field of mathematics. He completed his PhD at the University of Yale and worked as a lecturer in the Berkeley Campus of the University of California from 1985 to 1986.
Nesin was an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame between 1987 and 1989. Until 1995, he worked first as an associate professor then, as a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
He came back to Turkey after the death of his father Aziz Nesin in 1995 and took over the administration of the Nesin Foundation. (TP/SD)
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