The Frenchman Hugo Duminil-Copin received this Tuesday in Helsinki the Fields medal for his research in mathematics.

Also winner, the Ukrainian Maryna Viazovska is the second woman to receive this prestigious distinction since the creation of the award in 1936.

The other two winners of this award given every four years, considered the equivalent of a "Nobel of mathematics", are the researcher based in the United States June Huh and the Briton James Maynard.

The medal, awarded by the International Mathematical Union, celebrates the "exceptional discoveries" of researchers under the age of 40.

Awarded for his probabilistic research

The announcement was made at a ceremony in Helsinki as part of the International Congress of Mathematicians.

It should have initially taken place in Saint Petersburg, but the ceremony was relocated to Helsinki due to the war in Ukraine.

Frenchman Hugo Duminil-Copin, 36, devotes his work to the mathematical branch of statistical physics.

Appointed professor at the age of 29, the probabilistic mathematician divides his time between the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, near Paris, and the University of Geneva.

He was awarded for solving several "long-standing problems in the probabilistic theory of phase transitions", which opened up "several new directions of research", according to the jury.

The 8th Dimension

The second woman to win the award in its 80-year history, Maryna Viazovska was born 37 years ago in Ukraine, then in the Soviet Union.

Since 2017, she has been a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland.

The mathematician received the award for solving a version of a centuries-old geometric problem, demonstrating the densest packing of identical spheres beyond three-dimensional space – in this case the amazing dimension 8 where the symmetry is optimal.

The “compact stacking problem”, more commonly known as the “orange merchant problem”, has plagued mathematicians since the 16th century, when the question arose of the densest possible stacking of cannonballs.

Analytic number theory and combinatorial geometry

In 2014, Iranian Maryam Mirzakhani, who died of cancer three years later, was the first woman to win the Fields Medal.

35-year-old Briton James Maynard is a professor at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

He received the medal "for [his] contributions to analytic number theory, which have led to major advances in the understanding of the structure of prime numbers and in the Diophantine approximation".

Professor at Princeton University in the United States, June Huh, 39, was selected for having "transformed" the field of combinatorial geometry, "using methods from Hodge theory, tropical geometry and theory of singularities”.

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