Emeritus Professor at Kyoto University, Masaki Kashiwara has won the Chern Medal at ICM 2018. The winner was announced this morning during the conference opening ceremony by President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) Shigefumi Mori who commended his “outstanding and fundamental contribution to algebraic analysis and representation theory in his career spanning almost fifty years.”


During his extensive career, Masaki Kashiwara solved complex problems, such as the Kazhdan-Lusztig conjecture and the theory of crystalline bases of quantum groups. He has previously been awarded for his outstanding research, and won the Iyanaga (1981), Asahi (1988), Japonese Academy (1988), and Kyoto Maths (2018) awards.


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Born in Yuki, Japan in 1947, he completed both his bachelors and masters degrees in mathematics at the University of Tokyo, before also completing his PhD there in 1974, under the tutelage of Mikio Sato, creator in the field of algebraic analysis.


The Japanese mathematician has been a senior research fellow at the Research Institute of Mathematical Sciences (RIMS) at the University of Kyoto since 1984, having become assistant professor there in 1973 (he had started as a assistant researcher at RIMS two years previously). He also obtained the position of assistant professor at the University of Nagoya in 1984.


The Chern Medal has been awarded at ICM conferences since 2010, and the accolade recognizes the work of a researcher with extraordinary achievements in the field of mathematics. The award was created in 2009 in a partnership between IMU and the Chern Medal Foundation (CMF) to honor Chinese mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern, who devoted himself to research & mathematical education. In addition to the 24-carat gold medal, the winner receives $500,000, to be split in half between the winner and an entity nominated by the awardee to support research, education and extension programs in mathematics.


The winner of the 2018 Chern Medal was decided by a committee comprising chairperson Caroline Series (UK), Jordan Ellenberg (USA), Gerhard Huisken (Germany), Michio Jimbo (Japan), and Benoit Perthame (France).