Ukrainian mathematician receives the prestigious Fields Medal | Ap-top-news

BERLIN (AP) — Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska was named Tuesday as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize in mathematics.

The International Mathematical Union said Viazovska, who holds the chair of number theory at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, was honored for her work on the densest packing of identical eight-dimensional spheres.

Viazovska said Russian attack on Ukraine in February profoundly changed his life and that of all Ukrainians.

“When the war broke out, I couldn’t think of anything else, including math,” she said, adding that teaching had, however, offered some respite.

“When I’m in front of the class, I have to forget everything else because I have to be very focused,” Viazovska said. “It made me forget the fear and the pain inside of me.”

Other laureates were French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin from the University of Geneva; Korean-American mathematician June Huh of Princeton; and British mathematician James Maynard of Oxford University.

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

“The ongoing barbaric war that Russia continues to wage against Ukraine clearly shows that no other alternative was feasible,” said International Mathematical Union President Carlos E. Kenig.

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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