(Persia Digest) – Fereydoun Derakhshani (Caucher Birkar) has become the second Iranian to win the Fields Medal after Maryam Mirzakhani.
The Fields Medal was awarded to four people this year in a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These were Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze, and Akshay Venkatesh for their achievements in mathematics.
This is the highest scientific award in mathematics and is also called the Nobel Prize of mathematics. It is awarded once every four years to two, three, or four mathematicians under the age of forty at The International Mathematical Union (IMU), together with a cash prize of 15000 Canadian dollars.
Professor Birkar was born in 1978 in Marivan, Kurdistan Province. He was schooled in his home city and moved to Tehran University for his higher education in mathematics. Birkar received his PhD at Nottingham University and received the London Mathematical Society (LMS) award as the most promising mathematics student in 2003. Currently, Birkar is a Professor at Cambridge University.
After receiving his Fields Medal, Birkar said this was an unbelievable dream come true. He reminisced about his younger days at Tehran University where they had photos of Fields Medal winners in their Mathematical Society, and said: “I used to look at them and ask myself will I be able to meet them one day?”
And now, he is one these winners. This prominent mathematician has held scientific seminars on mathematical achievements in twenty countries.
Persia Digest reports that the late Maryam Mirzakhani was the first woman to win the Fields Medal in 2014.
Update: Reports from the Fields Medal ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday indicate that the medal given to the Iranian mathematician was stolen moments after it was awarded to him. Caucher Birkar had placed it on a table with his mobile phone and handbag when he realized it was gone in a moment of neglect. The organizers have expressed their regret about the incident and announced: “CCTV recordings are being looked at together with police help.”
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