Yuri Milner to award $3M prizes to mathematicians

In July 2012, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner startled the world of physics by establishing the Fundamental Physics Prize, with awards of $3,000,000 each to nine physicists, including well-known cosmologists Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Juan Maldacena and Edward Witten, among others. These physicists now constitute a committee to select future awardees. The 2013 awardee was Alexander Polyakov for his work in quantum field theory and string theory. In December 2013, the 2014 awardees were announced, which are John Schwarz of Caltech and Michael Green of Cambridge.

In 2013, Milner, in partnership with Google founder Sergey Brin, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, established the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The first 11 awardees, announced in December 2013, include David Botstein (for mapping disease using DNA polymorphisms), Titia de Lange (for research on telomeres), Eric Lander (for analysis of the human genome) and Shinya Yamanaka (for work in induced pluripotent stem cells).

Now, according to a New York Times report, Milner has expanded his awards to mathematics. Teaming up with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Milner and Zuckerberg will consult with various leaders in the field to make their first set of awardees.

These awards will complement the Abel Prize, the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize, and the Clay Millennium Prize as among the most prestigious in the field.

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