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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 to the analysis of partial differential equations, metric geometry and probability theory".

Optimal transport is at the core of several important results by Figalli on seemingly very distinct subjects, such as estimating the "deficit" in isoperimetric inequalities, or studying the Monge-Ampère equation, and the semi-geostrophic equations, with applications to the description of large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions in meteorology. Other striking results by Figalli include a detailed description of free boundary singularities, and the universality of the spectral behavior of random matrix disturbances using "approximate" transport maps.

Alessio Figalli entered CNRS in 2007 as a junior researcher after defending his PhD thesis, written under the joint supervision of Luigi Ambrosio and Cédric Villani. In 2008, he joined the Laurent Schwartz Mathematics Center (CMLS), in the École Polytechnique Research Center, as a Hadamard Professor. Following this, he worked as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin from 2009 to 2016, where he collaborated with Luis Caffarelli, who achieved the first major breakthrough on the analysis of free boundary problems in 1977. Alessio Figalli is the author of around 150 publications and two books.