Maxim Kontsevich’s 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

In June 2014 Maxim Kontsevich has been awarded the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics « for work making a deep impact in a vast variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebraic geometry, deformation theory, symplectic topology, homological algebra and dynamical systems. » Maxim Kontsevich has this distinctive characteristic of being already one of the nine winners of the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2012.


The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics rewards significant discoveries across the many branches of the subject. The prize was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner.

The four other recipients of this inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics are:

  • Simon Donaldson, Stony Brook University and Imperial College London
  • Jacob Lurie, Harvard University
  • Terence Tao, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Richard Taylor, Institute for Advanced Study

2015 Breakthrough Prize ceremony

The 2015 Breakthrough Prize ceremony took place on November 9, 2014 at NASA’s Hangar 1 in Mountain View, California. Host Seth MacFarlane was joined by actors Kate Beckinsale, Cameron Diaz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Hamm and Eddie Redmayne who presented the Breakthrough Prize Awards along side Silicon Valley’s Dick Costolo, Laurene Jobs, Elon Musk, Anne Wojcicki, Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner. The ceremony was opened with a special video message from Stephen Hawking, and closed with a tribute to Carl Sagan and his vision of the Pale Blue Dot.

2015 Breakthrough Prize symposium

The 2015 Breakthrough Prize symposium took place on November 10, 2014, at Stanford University and was co-sponsored by UC-San Francisco and UC-Berkeley. Each of Simon Donaldson, Maxim Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor presented a 30-minute symposium individual talk.


Future of the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

All five recipients of the Prize have agreed to serve on the Selection Committee, responsible for choosing subsequent winners of the prize from the pool of contenders nominated by the mathematics community. From 2015 onwards, one Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics will be awarded every year.