An Italian mathematician, Alessio Figalli, won the Fields Medal today. Figalli, 34, from Rome, is the second Italian after Enrico Bombieri, who was assigned the same prize 44 years ago.
Student of Liceo classico, where he attended classes of Latin and Greek, he graduated in Pisa and gained a PhD in just one year. He is defined by colleagues as an “exceptionally gifted problem solver”.
He started his career in France, then in Austin, Texas; now he is full professor in Zurich, Switzerland. His studies about optimal transport may have disruptive consequences in many fields, from meteorology to logistics: in a few words, the key point is to understand whether there is an efficient way to move objects or not.
“Nature is optimal – he says – and particles move in most economic way possible”. Figalli’s works may open new perspective for technology.
The Fields medale is comparable to the Nobel Prize; it’s assigned every four years to 4 mathematicians. First edition was held in 1936.