Ukrainian mathematician awarded prestigious Fields Medal

  • Maryna Viazovska, right, receives the Fields prize from IMU President Carlos E. Kenig, during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    Maryna Viazovska, right, receives the Fields prize from IMU President Carlos E. Kenig, during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • Maryna Viazovska attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    Maryna Viazovska attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • In this photo released by EPFL shows Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Sergiivna Viazovska in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 13, 2022. Viazovska was named Tuesday as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (EPFL/Fred Merz)

    In this photo released by EPFL shows Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Sergiivna Viazovska in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 13, 2022. Viazovska was named Tuesday as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (EPFL/Fred Merz) Associated Press

  • June Huh attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    June Huh attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • Hugo Duminil-Copin poses with the Fields prize during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    Hugo Duminil-Copin poses with the Fields prize during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • From left, Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, attend the prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 (ICM 2022) in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. They won the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize awarded to mathematicians under 40 years of age at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    From left, Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, attend the prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 (ICM 2022) in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. They won the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize awarded to mathematicians under 40 years of age at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • June Huh, right, receives the Fields prize during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    June Huh, right, receives the Fields prize during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • James Maynard, right, receives the Fields prize from IMU President Carlos E. Kenig during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    James Maynard, right, receives the Fields prize from IMU President Carlos E. Kenig during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • Hugo Duminil-Copin attends  the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    Hugo Duminil-Copin attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • James Maynard attends  the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

    James Maynard attends the Fields prize ceremony during the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Maryna Vjazovska, James Maynard, June Huh and Hugo Duminil-Copin, were awarded the Fields Medal for Mathematics, a prize for mathematicians under 40 years of age, at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP) Associated Press

  • This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) show French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in January 2016 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP)

    This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) show French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in January 2016 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP) Associated Press

  • This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) shows French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in April 2017 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics.(Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP)

    This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) shows French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in April 2017 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics.(Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP) Associated Press

  • This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) shows French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in April 2017 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics.(Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP)

    This photo provided by the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) shows French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin in April 2017 in Bures-sur-Yvette, southern of Paris. Hugo Duminil-Copin was named Tuesday July 5, 2022 as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described a the Nobel Prize in mathematics.(Marie-Claude Vergne/ IHES via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Posted7/5/2022 7:00 AM

BERLIN -- Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was named Tuesday as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, which is often described as the Nobel Prize in mathematics.

The International Mathematical Union said Viazovska, who holds the chair in number theory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, was being honored for her work on the densest packing of identical spheres in eight dimensions.

 

Viazovska said Russia's attack on Ukraine in February had profoundly changed her life and those of all Ukrainians.

'When the war started I could not think about anything else, including mathematics,' she said, adding that teaching has offered some respite, however.

'When I'm in front of class, I have to forget about everything else because I have to be very focused,' said Viazovska. 'This made me forget about the fear and pain inside myself.'

The other winners were French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin of the University of Geneva; Korean-American mathematician June Huh of Princeton; and British mathematician James Maynard of the University of Oxford.

The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to mathematicians under age 40. The recipients are normally announced at the International Congress of Mathematicians, which was originally due to be held in Russia this year but moved to Helsinki instead.

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'The ongoing barbaric war that Russia still continues to wage against Ukraine clearly shows that no other alternative was feasible," the president of the International Mathematical Union, Carlos E. Kenig, said.

Viazovska recently dedicated one of her lectures to Yulia Zdanovksa, a young Ukrainian mathematician and computer scientist from Kharkiv. who was killed in a Russian missile attack.

'When someone like her dies, it's like the future dies," Viazovska said. 'Right now, Ukrainians are giving the highest price for our beliefs and for our freedom.'

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