Gerd Faltings, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn and Professor at the University of Bonn, was awarded the 2014 King Faisal International Prize for Science for his groundbreaking contributions to algebraic geometry and number theory. This was announced by the president of the King Faisal Foundation, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, on 14 January 2014.

The King Faisal International Prize is awarded to “scientists and scholars whose research results in significant advances in specific areas that benefit humanity.” It consists of a certificate, hand-written in Arabic calligraphy summarizing the laureate’s work, a commemorative 24 carat gold medal, uniquely cast for each prize, and a cash award of 750,000 Saudi riyal (150,000 Euro).

Prof. Gerd Faltings is the second director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics to receive the prize, after Prof. Yuri Manin in 2002.

The prize committee stated that Prof. Faltings “work combines ingenuity, vision and technical power. He has introduced stunning new tools and techniques which are now constantly used in modern mathematics. His deep insights into the p-adic cohomology of algebraic varieties have been crucial to modern developments in number theory. His work on moduli spaces of abelian varieties has had great influence on arithmetic algebraic geometry. He has introduced new geometric ideas and techniques in the theory of Diophantine approximation, leading to his proof of Lang’s conjecture on rational points of abelian varieties and to a far-reaching generalization of the subspace theorem. Professor Faltings has also made important contributions to the theory of vector bundles on algebraic curves with his proof of the Verlinde formula.”

(Photo credit: MFO / Gert-Martin Greuel)