​Prof. Shing-Tung Yau wins 2023 Shaw Prize in the Mathematical Sciences

The 2023 Shaw Prize in the Mathematical Sciences was awarded to Shing-Tung Yau, Director of Yau Mathematical Sciences Center at Tsinghua University, and Vladimir Drinfeld, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago, for their contributions related to mathematical physics, to arithmetic geometry, to differential geometry and to Kähler geometry.

Yau and Drinfeld share an interest in mathematical physics. Yau worked on mathematical problems arising from general relativity and string theory. Drinfeld launched with Beilinson the geometric Langlands program.

Yau is the Chair Professor of Tsinghua University, Director of Yau Mathematical Sciences Center and Dean of Qiuzhen College. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary member of ASHK. He has won numerous top international mathematical awards, including the Fields Medal, the Crafoord Prize, the Wolf Prize, and the Marcel Grossmann Award.

Yau developed systematically partial differential equation methods in differential geometry. With these, he solved the Calabi conjecture, for which he was awarded the Fields medal in 1982, the existence of Hermitian Yang–Mills connections (with Uhlenbeck), and the positive mass conjecture (with Schoen) for which they used the theory of minimal surfaces. He introduced geometric methods to important problems in general relativity, which led for example to Schoen–Yau’s black-hole existence theorem and to an intrinsic definition of quasi-local mass in general relativity.

Yau’s work on the existence of a Kähler–Einstein metric led to the solution to the Calabi conjecture, and to the concept of Calabi–Yau manifolds, which are cornerstones both in string theory and in complex geometry. The Strominger−Yau−Zaslow construction has had a major impact on mirror symmetry.

His work (with P Li) on heat kernel estimates and differential Harnack inequalities has changed the analysis of geometric equations on manifolds. It has influenced the development of optimal transportation and Hamilton’s work on Ricci flow.

Yau contributed to the fusion of geometry and analysis, now known as geometric analysis. His work has had a deep and lasting impact on both mathematics and theoretical physics.

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the Shaw Prize. This international award, established under the auspices of Mr. Run Run Shaw, recognizes imaginative individuals committed to scientific research and highlights their discoveries. It consists of three annual awards: the Prize in Astronomy, the Prize in Life Science and Medicine, and the Prize in Mathematical Sciences. In the past 20 years, 29 mathematicians, including Yau’s tutor Shiing-shen Chern, Fields Medalists David Mumford, and Maxim Kontsevich, among others, have won the Prize in Mathematical Sciences. The 2023 presentation ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, 12 November 2023 in Hong Kong.

Editor:Li Han

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