Professor Sir Timothy Gowers has been awarded the Sylvester Medal by the Royal Society and the De Morgan Medal by the London Mathematical Society.
Trinity Fellow, Professor Gowers said:
It is a great honour to have my name added to lists that include many of the central figures in British mathematics over the last century and more. I cannot hope to live up to the example they have set, but I will do my best.
The Royal Society’s Sylvester Medal, ‘for the encouragement of mathematical research’ was awarded to Professor Gowers ‘for his ground-breaking results in the theory of Banach spaces, pure combinatorics, and additive number theory.’
The award was created in memory of the mathematician James Joseph Sylvester, who was Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford in the 1880s. Originally it was awarded triennially, but from 2010 the medal has been awarded biennially, in even years.
Since the first award in 1901, 41 mathematicians have received the medal, including 15 Fellows at Trinity.
Professor Gowers has also received thefor ‘his seminal contributions to functional analysis, additive number theory and combinatorics, as well as for his numerous activities on the national and international mathematical stages.’
The De Morgan Medal is awarded every third year, in memory of Professor Augustus De Morgan, the Society’s first President. The first award was made in 1884.
A Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor Gowers was awarded the Fields Medal in 1998, the same year he was elected to the Rouse Ball Professorship at Cambridge. Fields Medals are awarded every four years to scholars under 40 in recognition of outstanding contributions to mathematics. This prestigious award is the highest honour a mathematician can receive.
Professor Gowers is also a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge.
Accolades aside, he is also known among the mathematics community and beyond for his online explorations of mathematical problems, consideration of topical issues and reports of outreach activities in ‘a mathematical spirit.’ Thus Gowers’s Weblog has considered ‘The need for supranational organizations’, ‘Should I have bet on Leicester City?’ and ‘A trip to Watford Grammar School for Boys’.
Professor Gowers is not only a supporter of open access publishing (he confesses to being an ‘OA activist by accident’) but has established Discrete Analysis, a rigorously peer-reviewed online journal that is easy to navigate and free to access and publish with.