News about the MPI for Mathematics and the people working here

## International Congress of Mathematicians 2018: Many Invited Speakers with Ties to MPIM

A number of mathematicians who have held positions, were long-term visitors, or PhD students at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics are invited to present their work at the next International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), which will take place in 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. Most notably, **Geordie Williamson**, who has been Advanced Researcher at MPIM from 2011-2016, is invited as plenary speaker. Further invited speakers with ties to MPIM include:

## Cantor-Medaille für Gerd Faltings

*Berlin, 3. Februar 2017*. Gerd Faltings, Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in Bonn, Honorarprofessor für Mathematik an der Universität Bonn und Mitglied im Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, dem Bonner Exzellenzcluster für Mathematik und mathematische Ökonomie, erhält die Cantor-Medaille der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung (DMV). Das beschloss das Präsidium der DMV kürzlich in Berlin. Die Cantor-Medaille ist die bedeutendste wissenschaftliche Auszeichnung, die die DMV vergibt.

## New Horizons in Mathematics Prize awarded to Geordie Williamson

**Geordie Williamson**has received a New Horizons in Mathematics Prize jointly with Benjamin Elias for pioneering work in geometric representation theory, including the development of Hodge theory for Soergel bimodules and the proof of the Kazhdan-Lusztig conjectures for general Coxeter groups. Geordie had been advanced reseracher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics from 2011 until August 2016, when he moved to a position at the University of Sydney in his native country Australia.

## Exhibition "Women of Mathematics throughout Europe" at MPIM opening on November 10th

The exhibition "Women of Mathematics throughout Europe" will be on public display at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics from November 10 to December 23, 2016. This touring exhibition, whose starting point is the 7th European Congress of Mathematics held in July 2016 in Berlin, features the portrays of thirteen female mathematicians, sharing their experience, thus serving as role models to encourage young women to enter mathematics, a field where women are still largely underrepresented. The exhibition will be launched with the:

## Opening Event

Date/time: November 10th, 2016, 18:00h

Place: Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Vivatsgasse 7, Bonn

## Call for nominations of directors of Max Planck institutes

The Max Planck Society and its institutes are seeking nominations for the position of

**Director**

for various research fields including mathematics. The call can be found here. The deadline is December 12, 2016 but later nominations may also be considered.

## EMS Prize for Geordie Williamson

Geordie Williamson, advanced researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, has received one of the this year's prestigious EMS prizes for outstanding young researchers. The prize was awarded „for his fundamental contributions to representation theory of Lie algebras and algebraic groups, for example, with the elegant proof of Soergel’s conjecture on bimodules associated to Coxeter groups and the counter-examples to expected bounds in Lusztig’s conjectured character for rational representations of algebraic groups.“ His results include proofs and re-proofs of some long-standing conjectures, as well as spectacular counterexamples to the expected bounds in others. The prize was awarded during the 7th European Congress of Mathematics held from July 18-22, 2016 in Berlin.

## Pavel Mnev awarded 2016 André Lichnerowicz Prize in Poisson Geometry

Pavel Mnev, an Advanced Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics from 2014-2016, has been awarded the 2016 André Lichnerowicz Prize in Poisson Geometry. The biennial award is given for outstanding work by young mathematicians in Poisson Geometry.

**Pavel Mnev** received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg under the direction of the mathematical physicist Ludwig Faddeev. Mnev held a postdoctoral position at the University of Zurich, before coming to the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn in 2014. This fall, he has moved to a faculty position at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests are in mathematical physics, in particular in the interactions of quantum field theory with topology, homological/homotopical algebra, and supergeometry.

## Maryna Viazovska and Danylo Radchenko on Ukranian TV

Maryna Viazovska and Danylo Radchenko, who both wrote their PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics under the supervision of Don Zagier, were recently interviewed by the Ukranian branch of Deutsche Welle for their exciting new work on the centuries old Kepler problem. (Interview in Ukrainian language)

## Interview with PhD student Danylo Radchenko on solving the sphere packing problem in dimension 24

Danylo Radchenko, PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics and the Bonn International Graduate School for Mathematics, on the famous sphere packing problem, his contribution to the proof in dimension 24, and on being a PhD student in Bonn.

**You are co-author of a paper about the sphere packaging problem in dimension 24. Let’s start from the scratch: What’s the sphere packing problem about?**

This problem goes way back to 1611 when Johannes Kepler discussed the question how to stack cannon balls most efficiently. He found the answer, but he couldn’t prove it. This is why it’s called the “Kepler conjecture”. Since then, physicists have been working with his solution. But for mathematicians it’s not enough to know the answer, we also have to find a way to deduce logically why it is indeed correct. The solution is actually pretty simple. Almost everyone will find it intuitively if you give them a bunch of balls and some time. But the mathematical proof of this is highly complex. Even for a normal three dimensional room, the proof was found only in 1998 by Thomas Hales.

## Geordie Williamson to Receive 2016 Clay Research Award

**Geordie Williamson**, advanced researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn will be awarded the 2016 Clay Research Award in recognition of his groundbreaking work in representation theory and related fields.

In particular, the award recognises two major breakthroughs. First, his proof, with Ben Elias, of Soergel’s conjecture on bimodules associated to Coxeter groups. This established the combinatorial result that the coefficients of the Kazhdan-Lusztig polynomials are non-negative, as well as yielding a new proof of Kazhdan and Lusztig’s conjectured character formula for representations of complex semi-simple Lie algebras.

The second is the construction (building on earlier work with Ben Elias and Xuhua He) of counterexamples to the expected bounds in Lusztig’s conjectured character formula for rational representations of algebraic groups in positive characteristics that grow exponentially with the rank of the group.

The awards will be presented at the 2016 Clay Research Conference at Oxford on Wednesday, 28 September.