# Fields Medal awarded to 4 mathematicians in Brazil

Mathematicians from Germany, India, Iran and Italy were awarded the prestigious Fields Medal during the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

(L to R) Indian Australian mathematician, Akshay Venkatesh, German mathematician Peter Scholze, and Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli, three of four winners of mathematics' prestigious Fields medal, often known as the Nobel prize for math pose at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 01, 2018. A Kurdish refugee turned Cambridge University professor who was awarded math's most prestigious prize in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday had the gold medal stolen from him just minutes later, organizers said. [Photo: AFP/Carl de Souza]

Peter Scholze of Germany, Akshay Venkatesh of India, Caucher Birkar of Iran and Alessio Figalli of Italy received the coveted award, considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

The Fields Medal is awarded every four years by the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

Brazil became the first country in Latin America to host the event, which this year drew more than 2,500 mathematicians from around the world.

The Fields Medal, the highest honor a mathematician can receive, is presented to mathematicians under the age of 40 for their contributions to the field.

Scholze, 30, is a professor at the University of Bonn, where he is part of a group that works in arithmetic algebraic geometry.

Venkatesh, 36, is a professor at Stanford University in California. His area of research includes number theory.

The Fields Medal winners Caucher Birkar of Iran, Alessio Figalli of Italy, Peter Scholze of Germany and Akshay Venkatesh of India (L to R) are pictured during the opening ceremony of the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 1, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

Birkar, 40, an Iranian-Kurdish refugee, is a professor at the University of Cambridge. He received the award for his work categorizing different kinds of polynomial equations. Winners must be under 40 at the start of the year the prize is given.

Figalli, 34, whose work is focused primarily on calculus of variations and partial differential equations, won the award for his work in optimal transport. He is a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich.

The Fields Medal was first awarded in 1936 and has been given out every four years since 1950.

The congress concludes on Aug. 9. Among the events being held at the same time as the congress is the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics, the first global gathering of women mathematicians.