Luigi Ambrosio plenary lecture at this year’s ICM was entitled “Calculus, heat flow and curvature-dimension bounds in metric measure spaces. The Italian mathematician previously gave an invited section lecture at ICM 2002 in Beijing. A corresponding member of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei since 2005, Ambrosio is also listed as a highly cited researcher on ISI web of knowledge.
The invitation to speak at the ICM 2018 was followed by what must have been a special joy for Ambrosio: his pupil Alessio Figalli’s Fields medal. On Tuesday, August 1, Figalli became the second Italian to be awarded the Fields medal, the most prestigious prize in mathematics. The first Italian to win the Fields medal was Enrico Bombieri. Ambrosio, along with Cédric Villani, co-directed Figalli’s thesis at Scuola Normale Superiore.
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“The Italian community received with great satisfaction, we’ve been expecting this award for 45 years,” Ambrosio said after his plenary session at ICM. “Enrico Bombieri was the only Italian to receive the Fields medal, in 1974. It was a recognition of the quality of research and education in Italy and the strong tradition of Italian mathematical schools.”
Ambrosio first realized that Figalli had a chance to win the Fields medal five years ago. “We started to realize that he could make it. And he made it.” Ambrosio said. “He has a very nice personality, and that is an important ingredient of his success. Often times mathematicians are very competitive.”