
EMS Prizes
The EMS prizes are awarded by the European Mathematical Society
in recognition of distinguished contributions in Mathematics
by young researchers not older than 35 years. The prizes are presented every
four years at the European Congresses of Mathematics.
The Prize Committee is appointed by the EMS and consists of a number of
recognized mathematicians from a wide variety of fields. The prizes were
first awarded in Paris in 1992 and then in Budapest in 1996 and in Barcelona
in 2000.
Each prize winner 2004 will receive 5,000 Euro.
Prize committee
Enrico Arbarello,  Rome
Victor Buchstaber,  Moscow
John Coates, Cambridge, UK
Jacek Graczyk,  Orsay
Bertil Gustafsson,  Uppsala
Stefan Hildebrandt,  Bonn
JeanFrançois Le Gall,  Paris
Vladimir Lin,  Haifa
Leonid Polterovich,  Tel Aviv
Domokos Szasz,  Budapest
Dimitri Yafaev,  Rennes
Eduard Zehnder,  Zürich
EMS Prize winners 2004 with the president of the Prize committee, Nina Uraltseva
Sitting from the left: Xavier Tolsa, Paul Biràn, Sylvia Serfaty, Stefano Bianchini, Otmar Venjakob. Standing from the left: Franck Barthe, Warwick Tucker, The President of the Prize committe; Nina Uraltseva, Elon Lindenstrauss, Andrei Oukonkov, Stanislav Smirnov
EMS Prizes 2004 with citations
Franck Barthe, Institut de Mathématiques Laboratoire de Statistique et
Probabilités, Toulouse, France
Barthe pioneered the use of measuretransportation techniques (due to
Kantorovich, Brenier, Caffarelli, Mc Cann and others) in geometric
inequalities of harmonic and functional analysis with striking applications
to geometry of convex bodies. His major achievement is an inverse form of
classical BrascampLieb inequalities. Further contributions include
discovery of a functional form of isoperimetric inequalities and a recent
solution (with Artstein, Ball and Naor) of a longstanding Shannon's problem
on entropy production in random systems.
Stefano Bianchini, Instituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo
"M. Picone", Rome, Italy
Stefano Bianchini has introduced an entirely new perspective to the theory of
discontinuous solutions of onedimensional hyperbolic conservation laws,
representing solutions as local superposition of travelling waves and
introducing innovative Glimm functionals. His ideas have led to the
solution of the long standing problem of stability and convergence of
vanishing viscosity approximations. In his best individual achievement,
published in 2003 in Arch.Ration. Mech. Anal., he shows convergence of
semidiscrete upwind schemes for general hyperbolic systems. In the technically
demanding proof the travelling waves are constructed as solutions of a
functional equation, appling center manifold theory in an infinite
dimensional space.
Paul Biràn, School of Mathematical Sciences, TelAviv University,
Israel
Paul Biràn has made fundamental and influential contributions to
symplectic topology as well as to algebraic geometry and Hamiltonian systems. His work is characterised by
new depths in the interactions between complex algebraic geometry and symplectic topology.
One of the earlier contributions is his surprising solution of the symplectic packing problem,
completing work of Gromov, McDuff and Polterovich, showing that compact symplectic manifolds
can be packed by symplectic images of equally sized Euclidean balls without wasting volume
if the number of balls is not too small. Among the corollaries of his proof, Biràn obtains new estimates in the Nagata
problem. A powerful tool in symplectic topology is Biràn's decomposition of symplectic manifolds
into a disc bundle over a symplectic submanifold and a Lagrangian skeleton.
Applications of this discovery range from the phenomenon of Lagrangian barriers to surprising
novel results on topology of Lagrangian submanifolds.
Paul Biràn not only proves deep results, he also discovers new phenomena
and invents powerful techniques important for the future development of the field of symplectic
geometry.
Elon Lindenstrauss, Clay Mathematics Institute, Massachusetts and
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York, USA
Elon Lindestrauss has done deep and highly original work at the interface
of ergodic theory and number theory. Although he has worked widely in ergodic theory,
his recent proof of the quantum unique ergodicity conjecture for arithmetic hyperbolic
surfaces breaks fertile new ground, with great promise for future applications to
number theory.
Already, in joint workwith Katok and Einsiedler, he has used some of the
ideas in this work to prove the celebrated conjecture of Littlewood on simultaneous
diophantine approximation for all pairs of real numbers lying outside a set of
Hausdorff dimension zero. This goes far beyond what was known earlier about
Littlewood's conjecture, and spectacularly confirms the high promise of themethods of
ergodic theory in studying previously intractable problems of diophantine
approximation.
Andrei Okounkov, Princeton University, USA
Andrei Okounkov contributed greatly to the field of asymptotic
combinatorics. An extremely versatile mathematician, he found a wide array of applications of his
methods. His early results include a proof of a conjecture of Olshanski on the
representations theory of groups with infinitedimensional duals. Okounkov gave the first proof
of the celebrated BaikDeiftJohansson conjecture, which states that the asymptotics of random
partitions distributed according to the Plancherel measure coincides with that of the eigenvalues
of large Hermitian matrices. An important and influential result of Okounkov is a formula he found
in joint work with Borodin, which expresses a general Toeplitz determinant as the Fredholm determinant
of the product of two associated Hankel operators. The new techniques of working with random partitions
invented and successfully developed by Okounkov lead to a striking array of applications in a wide variety of
fields: topology of module spaces, ergodic theory, the theory of random surfaces and algebraic geometry.
Sylvia Serfaty, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New
York, USA
Sylvia Serfaty was the first to make a systematic and impressive asymptotic analysis for the case
of large parameters in Theory of GinzburgLandau equation. She established precisely the values of
the first, second and third (with E.Sandier) critical fields for nucleation of one stable vortex,
vortex fluids and surface superconductivity. In micromagnetics, her work with F. Alouges and
T. Rivière breaks new ground on singularly perturbed variational problems and provides the first
explanation for the internal structure of crosstie walls.
Stanislav Smirnov, KTH, Sweden and Geneva University, Switzerland
Stanislav Smirnov's most striking result is the proof of existence and
conformal invariance of the scaling limit of crossing probabilities for critical
percolation on the triangular lattice. This gives a formula for the limiting values of
crossing probabilities, breakthrough in the field, which has allowed for the verification of many
conjectures of physicists, concerning power laws and critical values of exponents. Stanislav Smirnov also made several essential contributions to
complex dynamics, around the geometry of Julia sets and the thermodynamic formalism.
Xavier Tolsa, ICREA and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Xavier Tolsa has made fundamental contributions to Harmonic and Complex Analysis. His most
outstanding work solves Vitushkin's problem about semiadditivity of analytic capacity. The problem
was raised in 1967 by Vitushkin in his famous paper on rational approximation in the plane.
Tolsa's result has important consequences for a classical (100 years old) problem of Painlevé
about a geometric characterization of planar compact sets are removable in the class of bounded
analytic functions. Answering affirmatively Melnikov's conjecture, Tolsa provides a solution of the
Painlevé problem in terms of the Menger curvature. Xavier Tolsa has also published many important
and influential resultsrelated to CalderónZygmund theory and rational approximation in the plane.
Warwick Tucker, Uppsala University, Sweden
Warwick Tucker has given a rigorous proof that the Lorenz attractor exists
for the parameter values provided by Lorenz. This was a long standing challenge to the dynamical system community, and was included by Smale in his list of
problems for the new millennium. The proof uses computer estimates with rigorous bounds based on higher dimensional interval arithmetics. In later
work, Warwick Tucker has made further significant contributions to the development and application of this area.
Otmar Venjakob, Mathematisches Institut Universität Heidelberg,
Germany
Otmar Venjakob has made a number of important discoveries in both the
algebraic and arithmetic aspects of noncommutative Iwasawa theory, especially on problems which appeared intractable from the point
of view of the classical commutative theory. In arithmetic geometry, Iwasawa theory is the only general
technique known for studying the mysterious relations between exact arithmetic formulae and special
values of Lfunctions, as typified by the conjecture of Birch and
SwinnertonDyer. Venjakob's work applies quite generally to towers of number fields whose Galois group is an
arbitrary compact padic Lie group (which is not, in general, commutative), and has done much to show
that a rich theory is waiting to be developed. His most important results include the proof of a good
dimension theory for modules over Iwasawa algebras, and the proof of the first case of a structure theory for modules over these
algebras. With Hachimori he discovered the first examples of arithmetic Iwasawa modules which are completely
faithful, as well as proving a remarkable asymptotic upper bound for the
rank of the Mordell Weil group of elliptic curves in certain
towers of number fields over Q whose Galois group is a padic Lie group
of dimension 2. Very recently, he found they key to the problem of defining, in noncommutative Iwasawa
theory, the analogue of the characteristic series of modules over Iwasawa
algebras.
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