Honors & Awards

Crafoord Prize Winners

The Crafoord Prize promotes international basic research in Astronomy and Mathematics, Geosciences, and Biosciences. The Royal Swedish Academy awards the Prize on a rotating scheme. 2012 was the first year that Astronomy and Mathematics each received a separate prize of SEK 4 million, making the Crafoord Prize one of the world’s largest scientific prizes.

Crafoord Prize 2012 Press Release

 


Andrea Ghez, Astronomy, 2012

Black holes are impossible to observe directly — everything in their vicinity vanishes into them, virtually nothing is let out. The only way of exploring black holes is to investigate the effects their gravitation has on the surroundings. From the motions of stars around the centre of the Milky Way, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez, and their colleagues, estimated the mass of Sagittarius A* at nearly four million times solar masses. Sagittarius A* is our closest supermassive black hole. It allows astronomers to better investigate gravity and explore the limitations of the theory of relativity. (Royal Swedish Academy)

Andrea Ghez graduated with a B.S. in physics from MIT in 1987 and a PhD in physics from Caltech in 1992. Ghez currently uses and develops high spatial resolution imaging techniques to study star formation and the massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Ghez also developed the "speckle imaging" technique. Among many awards and honors, Ghez has been elected to the American Philosophical Society and is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, the Sackler Prize, and three UCLA Department Teaching Awards. Ghez currently holds the Lauren Leichtman and Arthur Levine Chair in Astrophysics at UCLA.

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Terence Tao, Mathematics, 2012

On their own and jointly with others, Jean Bourgain and Terence Tao have made important contributions to many fields of mathematics — from number theory to the theory of non-linear waves. The majority of their most fundamental results are in the field of mathematical analysis. They have developed and used the toolbox of analysis in groundbreaking and surprising ways. Their ability to change perspective and view problems from new angles has led to many remarkable insights, attracting a great deal of attention among researchers worldwide. (Royal Swedish Academy.)

Terence Tao, a math prodigy from Adelaide, Australia, began taking calculus as a seven-year-old. He earned his PhD from Princeton and joined UCLA's faculty at the age of 20. By 24, Tao had become a full professor. He is renowned for his research on harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, combinatorics and analytic number theory. He is also the world's expert on the Kakeya conjecture. Tao has been honored with many prestigious awards and honors, including the Fields Medal, the King Faisal International Prize, and has been elected to the American Philosophical Society   He currently holds the James and Carol Collins Chair in Mathematics at UCLA.

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