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Former professor of l'X receives Fields Medal

Alessio Figalli, professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, and former professor at École Polytechnique, was awarded the Fields Medal on Wednesday, August 1, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On Wednesday, August 1, the four winners of the Fields Medal 2018 were revealed during the International Congress of Mathematicians, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Among them was Alessio Figalli, professor at ETH Zürich, who was given the prize "for his contribution to optimal transport theory and its applications for the analysis of partial differential equations, metric geometry and probability theory".

The issue of optimal transport is at the core of several of Figalli’s key works on seemingly very distinct subjects, including the study of "deficit" in isoperimetric inequalities, the study of Monge-Ampère equations, and the solving of semi-geostrophic equations. His work has notable applications for meteorology in the description of large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions; for the detailed description of free surface singularities; and indeed for the study of universality of spectral behavior of random matrix disturbances using "approximate" transport maps.

Alessio Figalli arrived at CNRS in 2007 as a research fellow after completing his PhD thesis under the direction of Luigi Ambrosio and Cédric Villani. In 2008, he joined the Laurent Schwartz Mathematics Center (CMLS), part of the École Polytechnique Research Center, as a Hadamard Professor. Following this, he worked as a professor at the University of Austin from 2009 to 2016, where he collaborated with Luis Caffarelli. An eminent mathematician, Caffarelli made a breakthrough in free boundaries back in 1977. Alessio Figalli is the author of around 150 publications and two books.