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Chern Medal Award

The Chern Medal is awarded every four years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics. All living, natural persons, regardless of age or vocation, shall be eligible for the Medal.

The Chern Medal is jointly awarded by IMU and the Chern Medal Foundation (CMF). CMF funds the Chern Medal Award. The Medalist receives 500,000 USD of which 250,000 USD is a cash prize and the Medalist may nominate one or more organizations to receive funding totaling 250,000 USD, for the support of research, education, or other outreach programs in the field of mathematics.

The Award Selection Committee is chosen by the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union.

The name of the Chair of the Committee is made public, but the names of other members of the Committee remain anonymous until the award of the prize at the Congress.

Statutes for the Chern Medal Award

The details of the Award, the nomination, and the selection can be found in the Statutes for the Award.

Physical Medal

Material - 18KT green gold plated with 24-karat gold
Diameter - 2.5 inch
Package - Cherry wood box

Fields Medal Front
Fields Medal Back

Interpretation of the Medal

The obverse side (front) of the Chern Medal features the text "CHERN MEDAL" along the top rim and the portrait of Shiing-Shen Chern at age 73 in the center. Chern's Chinese signature is to the left of the portrait, while his English signature sits to the right. The text "1911-2004" indicates the years of Chern's birth and passing, respectively. The reverse side (back) of the Medal displays the generalized Gauss-Bonnet theorem, elegantly and intrinsically proved by Chern in 1944, now frequently termed the Chern-Gauss- Bonnet theorem. The name of the prize winner is engraved on the rim of the 2.5 inch medallion made of 18-karat green gold plated with 24-karat gold. The medallions are designed and fabricated by Medallic Art, LP.

Shiing-Shen Chern

RTEmagicC_Chern-photo_01.jpg.jpgThe Chern Medal Award is established in memory of the outstanding mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern (1911, Jiaxing, China - 2004, Tianjin, China). Professor Chern devoted his life to mathematics, both in active research and education, and in nurturing the field whenever the opportunity arose. He obtained fundamental results in all the major aspects of modern geometry, and founded the area of global differential geometry. Chern’s work exhibited keen aesthetic tastes in his selection of problems and in his breadth exemplified the interconnectiveness of modern geometry and all of its aspects.

See the >press information< released regarding the inauguration of the Chern Medal Award.

Former Prize Committees


  • Yakov Eliashberg (chair)
    Sun-Yung Alice Chang
    Henri Darmon
    Alice Guionnet
    Hiraku Nakajima


  • Caroline Series (chair)
    Jordan Ellenberg
    Gerhard Huisken
    Michio Jimbo
    Benoît Perthame


  • Robert Bryant, chair
    Kazuo Murota
    Felix Otto
    Alain-Sol Sznitman
    Claire Voisin


  • Phillip A. Griffiths (chair)
    Robert Bryant
    Gerd Faltings
    Fanghua Lin
    Wendelin Werner