Phillip Griffiths Awarded Chern Medal

Grantees in this story

The Chern Medal, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for outstanding achievement in the field of mathematics, has been awarded to renowned scholar and longtime Carnegie associate Phillip A. Griffiths. The Professor of Mathematics and former Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ was awarded the medal by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) at the International Congress of Mathematicians, in Seoul, South Korea. The medal was established in 2010 in memory of the outstanding mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern and is awarded every four years.

Phillip Griffiths
Phillip Griffiths; photo by Cliff Moore

In receiving this honor, Griffiths commented, “This recognition is especially meaningful to me because of my personal association with Chern, who was my mentor, collaborator and friend for more than 40 years. He was a gifted teacher, and was generous with his time and knowledge. It is enormously gratifying to be able to honor his legacy by supporting a new generation of mathematicians in an environment where opportunities for research and training have been scarce.”
 
Griffiths, whose work has stimulated a wide range of advances in mathematics over the past 50 years, was cited by the IMU for his “groundbreaking and transformative development of transcendental methods in complex geometry, particularly his seminal work in Hodge theory and periods of algebraic varieties.” Griffiths also chairs the Science Initiative Group (SIG), an international team of scientific leaders and advocates dedicated to fostering science in developing countries. SIG manages the Carnegie Corporation-funded RISE initiative, which prepares PhD and MSc-level scientists and engineers in sub-Saharan Africa through university-based research and training networks in selected disciplines. Its primary emphases are on training new faculty to teach in African universities and on upgrading the qualifications of current faculty.

Of the $500,000 monetary award, half will be donated to support the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI), which is a distributed network of mathematics research, training and promotion throughout Africa.   

Read more about the award here.  
Learn about the Chern Medal here.