# Brazilian mathematician named Ramanujan Prize winner

Fernando Codá Marques (32) of Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the winner of the 2012 Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries. Marques has made several major contributions to differential geometry, solving and yielding results from numerous problems mathematicians have been working on for decades. He received the prize at an award ceremony at ICTP in Trieste, Italy, on 6 September.

*Helge Holden presents the 2012 Ramanujan Prize to Fernando Codá Marques (32), Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Copyright: Roberto Barnaba, ICTP Photo Archives*

The Ramanujan Prize is awarded jointly by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund and the International Mathematical Union. The selection committee has consisted of Ngo Bao Chau, Helge Holden, Maria José Pacifico, Vasudevan Srinivas and Lothar Göttsche (Chair).

Fernando Codá Marques' latest and perhaps most prominent work, done in collaboration with André Neves of Imperial College London, is a complete proof of the Willmore Conjecture, posted pre-publication on arXiv.org in February 2012.

The Willmore Conjecture predicts the only equilibrium state of a curved surface with one hole - like a doughnut shape - subject to forces similar to those on soap bubbles, where the only forces considered are the surface tension and the amount of air contained in the soap film. The Willmore Conjecture has deep connections to fundamental questions in general relativity - the curvature of spacetime by gravity, for example - and also cell biology and lens design. The combined work of Marques and Neves offers a final proof. While the proof has yet to be published, there is so far a consensus among mathematicians studying it that Marques-Neves have proven the conjecture successfully.

Marques has also obtained results on the Yamabe Problem, completely solved Schoen's Conjecture, and counterexamples to the Rigidity Conjecture of Min-Oo.

Another marked achievement is that he solved a problem related to measurements of positive curvature, a solution detailed in a paper ICTP mathematician Claudio Arezzo called, "beautiful." The problem was that, in three dimensions or more, it was far easier to use a metric -- a kind of measurement of a distance in space - of negative curvature rather than one positive curvature, which much more rarely exist. Marques took two different positively curved metrics and proved you could join them using a gradual path of metrics of positive curvature connecting the two units of measurement. "And that's quite amazing," said Arezzo. "The theorem itself is not surprising, but nobody had any clue on how to prove it. He really came up with a nice original idea."

ICTP created the Ramanujan Prize for young mathematicians from developing countries in 2005. The Prize is funded by the Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund, with support from the International Mathematical Union.

The Prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country less than 45 years of age, who has conducted outstanding research in a developing country. Researchers working in any branch of the mathematical sciences are eligible. The Prize carries a cash award and travel support to visit ICTP for a meeting where the Prize winner delivers a lecture.

### Abel Laureates meet young researchers in Heidelberg

The 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum brings together 200 gifted young researchers and winners of the most prestigious prizes in mathematics (Abel Prize and Fields Medal) and computer science (Nevanlinna Prize and Turing Award). The three Abel Laureates who are present here in Heidelberg are Sir Michael Atiyah, Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan and John Tate (picture).

(23.09.2014) More### Abel Lecture by John Milnor at SEOUL ICM 2014

"Topology through Four Centuries" is the title of John Milnor's Abel Lecture. The Abel Lecture will take place on Friday the 15th of August from 6:00 -7:00 p.m. in 3F Hall D, Coex Convention Center and will be open to everybody. John Milnor received the Abel Prize in 2011 "for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry and algebra".

(28.07.2014) More

### Abel celebration in Oslo, Stavanger and Stockholm

When Abel Laureate Yakov G. Sinai arrives in Oslo on 18 May together with his wife Elena B. Vul, who is also a mathematician, they can look forward to a week of mathematics celebration in Oslo, Stavanger and Stockholm. The highlight will be when Yakov G. Sinai receives the Abel Prize from HRH The Crown Prince at the award ceremony on 20 May in the University Aula in Oslo. Earlier the same day Sinai will be received in audience at the Royal Palace. The Minister of Education and Research, Torbjřrn Rře Isaksen, will be among the many prominent guests at the award ceremony.

(13.05.2014) More### Mathematical billiards and chaos

#### Abel Lectures 2014 at the University of Oslo, Norway

The Abel Laureate Yakov Sinai will give his prize lecture at the University of Oslo on 21 May. This will be followed by two Abel Lectures by Gregory Margulis and Konstantin Khanin. Domokos Szász will give the popular science lecture titeled "Mathematical billiards and chaos". See lecture summaries below.

(08.05.2014) More### Congratulations from AMS President David Vogan

"On behalf of the American Mathematical society, it is a great pleasure to congratulate Yakov Sinai of Princeton University and the Landau Institute, recipient of the 2014 Abel Prize. Sinai's work has changed our understanding of change; his influence can be seen from number theory to physics. Congratulations!"

(26.03.2014) More