Jacob Tsimerman receives Ostrowski Prize in Higher Mathematics

Jacob Tsimerman

The Canadian mathematician Jacob Tsimerman has been awarded the International Ostrowski Prize in Higher Mathematics 2023. The Ostrowski Prize is worth 100,000 Swiss Francs and named after Alexander M. Ostrowski, a professor of mathematics who taught at the University of Basel.

Jacob Tsimerman, a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto (Canada), received the Ostrowski Prize 2023 in recognition of his work at the interface of transcendence theory, analytic number theory and arithmetic geometry, including recent breakthroughs on the André-Oort and Griffiths conjectures.

Shimura varieties are algebraic varieties of great interest. Introduced by Shimura and Deligne in order to generalize modular curves, they nowadays play a central role in the theory of automorphic forms, the study of Galois representations, and in Diophantine geometry.

The André-Oort conjecture describes the distribution of special points, also called points of complex multiplication, on a Shimura variety. The conjecture is an analog of the Manin-Mumford conjecture for Shimura varieties. It lies at the confluence of Diophantine problems and the arithmetic of modular forms. The proof of the general case of the André-Oort conjecture required overcoming a number of highly non-trivial obstacles. It was achieved recently by Tsimerman and collaborators and is the pinnacle result of this type.

Jacob Tsimerman, born 1988, is a Canadian mathematician. He won the International Mathematics Olympiad Gold Medal in 2003 and 2004. He studied mathematics at the University of Toronto and received his doctorate from Princeton University in 2011, under the supervision of Peter Sarnak. He had a post-doctoral position at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. In July 2014 he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship and started his term as assistant professor at the University of Toronto, where he is now a full professor.

An award rooted in the University of Basel

The Foundation A. M. Ostrowski for an international prize in higher mathematics was etablished by Alexander Markovich Ostrowski (1893-1986), a former professor of mathematics at the University of Basel. Since 1989, the foundation awards every other year a prize for outstanding achievements in the field of pure mathematics and in the foundations of numerical mathematics.

The jury consists of one representative of each of the following institutions: the University of Basel, the University of Jerusalem, the University of Waterloo (Canada), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. The prize is awarded irrespective of politics, nationality, religion, or age.

The Ostrowski Prize is awarded for the 18th time this year. In 2021, it was conferred to the British mathematician Timothy Austin. The award ceremony will take place at the University of Waterloo in the coming months.

Further information

Prof. Dr. Helmut Harbrecht, President of the Foundation A. M. Ostrowski, University of Basel, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, phone +41 61 207 39 92, email: helmut.harbrecht@clutterunibas.ch