After very little deliberation I have decided to forgo the Nobel Prize in Physics and work on the less well-known but better funded Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics announced just last year by Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner and their respective wives. The aim of the prize is to help make mathematics a more appealing career course. It’s discovery certainly did wonders for my view of the subject!

My interest in a Nobel had been waning since 1980 anyway when they debased the Nobel Prize Medal by cutting the gold content from 23 to 18 carat. But what really decided me was learning that the Breakthrough Prize this year was 3 million dollars, 2 1/2 times the Nobel’s measly 1.2 million. This year's five winners will take home a total of...um, let’s see...that’s fifteen million dollars (I obviously need to practice more).

The winners for 2014 are the following lucky -- and obviously very bright -- individuals as named and their breakthroughs described by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation:

**Simon Donaldson, Stony Brook University and Imperial College London**, for the new revolutionary invariants of four-dimensional manifolds and for the study of the relation between stability in algebraic geometry and in global differential geometry, both for bundles and for Fano varieties.

**Maxim Kontsevich, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques**, for work making a deep impact in a vast variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebraic geometry, deformation theory, symplectic topology, homological algebra and dynamical systems.

**Jacob Lurie, Harvard University**, for his work on the foundations of higher category theory and derived algebraic geometry; for the classification of fully extended topological quantum field theories; and for providing a moduli-theoretic interpretation of elliptic cohomology.

**Terence Tao, University of California, Los Angeles**, for numerous breakthrough contributions to harmonic analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations and analytic number theory.

**Richard Taylor, Institute for Advanced Study**, for numerous breakthrough results in the theory of automorphic forms, including the Taniyama-Weil conjecture, the local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups, and the Sato-Tate conjecture.

Good luck to all five winners and may they find happiness spending all that money. Oh, and since the five of them will also constitute the judges for next years honorees, I hope they remember this post writer when it comes time. Hopefully their example will inspire a new crop of high schoolers that math really can pay off! In the meantime I will be trying to figure out what a Sato-Tate conjecture is and what it has to do with a local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups...

After very little deliberation I have decided to forgo the Nobel Prize in Physics and work on the less well-known but better funded Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics announced just last year by Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner and their respective wives. The aim of the prize is to help make mathematics a more appealing career course. It’s discovery certainly did wonders for my view of the subject!

My interest in a Nobel had been waning since 1980 anyway when they debased the Nobel Prize Medal by cutting the gold content from 23 to 18 carat. But what really decided me was learning that the Breakthrough Prize this year was 3 million dollars, 2 1/2 times the Nobel’s measly 1.2 million. This year's five winners will take home a total of...um, let’s see...that’s fifteen million dollars (I obviously need to practice more).

The winners for 2014 are the following lucky -- and obviously very bright -- individuals as named and their breakthroughs described by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation:

**Simon Donaldson, Stony Brook University and Imperial College London**, for the new revolutionary invariants of four-dimensional manifolds and for the study of the relation between stability in algebraic geometry and in global differential geometry, both for bundles and for Fano varieties.

**Maxim Kontsevich, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques**, for work making a deep impact in a vast variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebraic geometry, deformation theory, symplectic topology, homological algebra and dynamical systems.

**Jacob Lurie, Harvard University**, for his work on the foundations of higher category theory and derived algebraic geometry; for the classification of fully extended topological quantum field theories; and for providing a moduli-theoretic interpretation of elliptic cohomology.

**Terence Tao, University of California, Los Angeles**, for numerous breakthrough contributions to harmonic analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations and analytic number theory.

**Richard Taylor, Institute for Advanced Study**, for numerous breakthrough results in the theory of automorphic forms, including the Taniyama-Weil conjecture, the local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups, and the Sato-Tate conjecture.

Good luck to all five winners and may they find happiness spending all that money. Oh, and since the five of them will also constitute the judges for next years honorees, I hope they remember this post writer when it comes time. Hopefully their example will inspire a new crop of high schoolers that math really can pay off! In the meantime I will be trying to figure out what a Sato-Tate conjecture is and what it has to do with a local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups...

After very little deliberation I have decided to forgo the Nobel Prize in Physics and work on the less well-known but better funded Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics announced just last year by Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner and their respective wives. The aim of the prize is to help make mathematics a more appealing career course. It’s discovery certainly did wonders for my view of the subject!

My interest in a Nobel had been waning since 1980 anyway when they debased the Nobel Prize Medal by cutting the gold content from 23 to 18 carat. But what really decided me was learning that the Breakthrough Prize this year was 3 million dollars, 2 1/2 times the Nobel’s measly 1.2 million. This year's five winners will take home a total of...um, let’s see...that’s fifteen million dollars (I obviously need to practice more).

The winners for 2014 are the following lucky -- and obviously very bright -- individuals as named and their breakthroughs described by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation:

**Simon Donaldson, Stony Brook University and Imperial College London**, for the new revolutionary invariants of four-dimensional manifolds and for the study of the relation between stability in algebraic geometry and in global differential geometry, both for bundles and for Fano varieties.

**Maxim Kontsevich, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques**, for work making a deep impact in a vast variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebraic geometry, deformation theory, symplectic topology, homological algebra and dynamical systems.

**Jacob Lurie, Harvard University**, for his work on the foundations of higher category theory and derived algebraic geometry; for the classification of fully extended topological quantum field theories; and for providing a moduli-theoretic interpretation of elliptic cohomology.

**Terence Tao, University of California, Los Angeles**, for numerous breakthrough contributions to harmonic analysis, combinatorics, partial differential equations and analytic number theory.

**Richard Taylor, Institute for Advanced Study**, for numerous breakthrough results in the theory of automorphic forms, including the Taniyama-Weil conjecture, the local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups, and the Sato-Tate conjecture.

Good luck to all five winners and may they find happiness spending all that money. Oh, and since the five of them will also constitute the judges for next years honorees, I hope they remember this post writer when it comes time. Hopefully their example will inspire a new crop of high schoolers that math really can pay off! In the meantime I will be trying to figure out what a Sato-Tate conjecture is and what it has to do with a local Langlands conjecture for general linear groups...

## Comments