Press Release – 5 December 2016
Founded by the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner, the different Breakthrough Prizes have been recognising the contribution of scientists in the domains of Mathematics, Physics and the Life Sciences for 5 years. The “New Horizons in Mathematics Prize”, celebrates mathematicians who have obtained important results since the beginning of their careers.
“If you think about the important fundamental research 100 years ago — from quantum theory leading to semiconductors, leading to integrated circuits — that is what we built everything we do on,” said Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. “If those people weren’t developing their theories 100 years ago, we’d be living that same life, today.”
IHES is extremely happy about this international award for Hugo Duminil-Copin, after the prize he obtained last July from the European Mathematical Society. These prizes reward the Institute for its willingness to recruit young permanent professors. Aged only 31, Hugo Duminil-Copin joined the group of IHES permanent professors last September. He also benefited from prestigious support from Paris Saclay (IDEX Chair) to facilitate his installation and enhance his work environement.
This is the fourth time that the work of one of the Institute’s permanent members receives recognition from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. Maxim Kontsevich had been one of the five awardees of the Inaugural Prize in Physics in 2012. Two years later he was awarded the Inaugural Prize in Mathematics and no one has achieved as much so far. “Mathematics is essential for driving human progress and innovation in this century. This year’s Breakthrough Prize winners have made huge contributions to the field and we’re excited to celebrate their efforts.” said then Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder and CEO.
This year, Thibault Damour was awarded a “Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics” that celebrates the detection of gravitational waves. This prize was assigned to the three creators of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) as well as to the 1005 co-authors of the article on the discovery of gravitational waves, and to seven more scientists who contributed significantly to the success of this experiment. Thibault Damour is one of them.