A Fields Medal goes to another percolation researcher

The Fields Medal is a prize in mathematics awarded every four years to two to four outstanding researchers (forty years old or younger) working in mathematics. One of the medals this year was awarded to French mathematician Hugo Duminil-Copin who has solved problems and obtained new results in the percolation theory which lies in the intersection of probability and statistical physics. Here’s a good Quanta article on Duminil-Copin and some of his work.

(The other winners are June Huh, James Maynard, and Maryna Viazovska.)

The Fields Medal people has been kind to probability researchers in recent years. Previous winners working in probability have included Wendelin Werner (2006), Stanislav Smirov (2010), and Martin Hairer (2014), while other winners in recent years have also made contributions to probability.

All in all, that’s not too shabby for a discipline that for a long, long time wasn’t considered part of mathematics.  (That story deserves a post on its own.)

I work nowhere near Duminil-Copin, but I have used some percolation theory in my work. I will write a couple of posts on percolation theory. Eventually, I may even mention some recent work that my collaborators and I have been working on.