Luna del 1 marzo 2012, by Skiwalker79 on flickr
[Edit, may 4, 2013: to anyone reading this, please note that it was posted on july 11, 2012, and I closed comments on december 31, 2012 to avoid further anonymous comments. Also, it appears I had forgotten Sylvia Serfaty as EMS prize winner still eligible, so I’ve just repaired that.]
Now that the dust has settled on the EMS prizes, let’s see if predicting the 2014 Fields Medals (already now) is possible or not.
First, the age limit is that “a recipient’s 40th birthday must not occur before January 1 of the year in which the Fields Medal is awarded“, so that rules out anyone born before january 1, 1974. And those born after january 1, 1978 will have another opportunity in 2018, so perhaps they have less priority.
Also, the medal obviously rewards work published (or at least accepted for publication) before the comittee decides, so that means spring 2014. And so, given the time it takes for a paper to be peer-reviewed (say 3 to 6 months for a short but breakthrough one, and 12 to 18 for a longer one), that means the 2014 medals will probably recognize work submited at the very lastest around september 2013 (short papers) or january 2013 (long papers).
So, anybody aged between 34 and 38 today, and who have no research accomplishments yet, have about 6 months to a year to prove one of the remaining Clay Millenium Problems 🙂
Since that’s not quite realistic, having a look at a list of people who have already been distinguished is a better bet. Here are those that I’ve found who were born between january 1, 1974 and january 1, 1978 (omitting multiple counts):
EMS prize winners: Alexei Borodin, Ben Green, Assaf Naor, Laure Saint-Raymond, Emmanuel Breuillard, Mathieu Lewin, Sylvia Serfaty, Vincent Lafforgue
Clay Research Fellows: Maryam Mirzakhani, Soren Galatius, Maria Chudnovsky, Daniel Biss, Manjul Bhargava
SASTRA Ramanujan prize winners: Kathrin Bringmann
Whitehead prize winners: Timothy Browning, Martin Hairer, Harald Helfgott, Alexander Gorodnik
Of course, the Fields comittee may well decide to reward several younger ones, and pick just one or two among those above…
If I had to bet at this point in time, I’d say Bhargava and Galatius appear to be very strong candidates from those lists, but lots can happen in the meantime.
Simon Brendle, Emmanuel Breuillard, Alessio Figalli, Adrian Ioana, Mathieu Lewin, Ciprian Manolescu, Grégory Miermont, Sophie Morel*, Tom Sanders, Corinna Ulcigrai. [* edit, november 2012 : Morel was at Harvard until september 2012, I’ve just changed the URL to her current page at Princeton]
(As for the predictability of the winners, I had guessed only four out of ten, it’s a nontrivial exercise given the amount of great candidates.)
Some updated statistics:
Ranking by PhD Institution
1. Tel Aviv University (5: Polterovich, Alesker, Gaitsgory, Biran, Klartag)
1bis. Paris 11 Orsay (5: Pérez-Marco, Cerf, Lafforgue, Serfaty, Morel)
1ter. Paris 6 Marie-Curie (5: Bonnet, Merel, Grenier, Werner, Miermont)
4. Cambridge (4: Borcherds, Gowers, Green, Sanders)