Zhiwei Yun wins 2018 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize

Photo of professor Zhiwei Yun.
Zhiwei Yun

Mathematics professor Zhiwei Yun received a prestigious New Horizons in Mathematics Prize Dec. 3 as part of the 2018 Breakthrough Prizes — dubbed the “Oscars” of science.

The award was presented at a televised ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The Breakthrough Prizes in life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics were established six years ago by Sergey Brin, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Anne Wojcicki, to honor the world’s top scientists.

In addition to the Breakthrough Prizes, up to three $100,000 New Horizons prizes are awarded in mathematics (and three in physics) to outstanding early career scientists.

Yale Department of Mathematics chair Igor Frenkel congratulated Yun on the award, noting that Yun is highly regarded in the field. “He is one of the most original mathematicians now working in number theory and, in particular, the Langlands program, the most challenging direction in number theory,” Frenkel said. “He is also an expert in algebraic geometry.”

In the award citation, Yun was lauded “for deep work on the global Gan-Gross-Prasad conjecture and the discovery of geometric interpretations for the higher derivatives of L-functions in the function field case.”

Yun joined the Yale faculty in 2016. He earned his undergraduate degree at Peking University and his Ph.D at Princeton. While in high school, Yun participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad and received a gold medal.

In 2012, he received the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for his “fundamental contributions to several areas that lie at the interface of representation theory, algebraic geometry, and number theory.”

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