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IMU Awards, Prizes, and Special Lecture

The International Mathematical Union grants four prizes for mathematical achievement which are awarded every four years at the Opening Ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM).

  • Fields Medal - recognizes outstanding mathematical achievement, it was first awarded in 1936.
  • Abacus Medal - honors distinguished achievements in mathematical aspects of information science, it will be awarded for the first time in 2022. It replaces the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize which was awarded from 1982 to 2018.
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize - is awarded for outstanding mathematical contributions that have found significant applications outside of mathematics, it was awarded first in 2006.
  • Chern Medal Award - is awarded to an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics, it was awarded for the first time in 2010.

IMU Prize for mathematical outreach

  • Leelavati Prize - recognizes outstanding public outreach work for mathematics. The IMU awards the Prize since 2010. Since 2014 this Prize is sponsored by Infosys.

IMU Special Lecture

  • ICM Emmy Noether Lecture - honors women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences, it was presented for the first time in 1994.

Selection Committees for the IMU Prizes and Awards

The IMU Executive Committee appoints, for each of its Prizes and Awards, a Selection Committee along the lines of the Statutes for the Prizes and the IMU By-Laws.

The names of the Selection Committee members remain confidential until the ICM, only the names of the Chairs are made public.

Below you will find an overview of the Prize Committee Chairs for the 2022 Prizes and Awards.
Please note that nominations for all 2022 Prizes and Awards have now been closed.

Prize Committee Chairs 2022

Fields Medal

Fields Medal Details

Abacus Medal

Abacus Medal Details

Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize

Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize Details

Chern Medal Award

Chern Medal Award Details

Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys

Leelavati Prize Details

ICM Emmy Noether Lecture

ICM Emmy Noether Lecture Details

Guidelines for handling conflicts of interest

Because the activities of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) are many and complex, involving large numbers of individuals, potential conflicts of interest inevitably arise in innocent and unexpected ways. The IMU must be vigilant, and be seen to be vigilant, by having in place effective and transparent measures to ensure fairness of its processes and minimize the risk of harm to its reputation. In particular, this applies to prize selection committees, the activities of which must always be beyond reproach. The IMU is aware that conflicts of interest may result from one’s life’s path, and they may or may not influence one’s ability to make impartial assessment. However, it is essential that the IMU processes would be deemed fair by any reasonable third person who is aware of the circumstances.

Unconscious bias

The potential impact of unconscious bias on the selection process is a concern for the International Mathematical Union. As humans, many of the decisions that we make are subject to unconscious bias. Unconscious biases are simply our unintentional preferences that come from our gender, education, culture, etc. Psychologists and neuroscientists tell us that our unconscious mind automatically, rapidly, intuitively and effortlessly categorizes people. This ability enables us to make rapid decisions about people. We do this without having to engage the limited resources of the conscious mind, which are required for most cognitive tasks, such as problem solving and planning. These cognitive shortcuts that reduce the load created by complex information lead to intuitive, but error-prone, decisions.

The Principle of Freedom and Responsibility in Science

The IMU is a member of the International Science Council (ISC), see Article 2(a) in the IMU Statutes. As such, we subscribe to Article 7 of the ISC Statutes, namely The Principle of Freedom and Responsibility in Science.