Top math laureate gets new medal after prize stolen

August 3, 2018
Kurdish mathematician Caucher Birkar will get a replacement for his stolen Fields Medal

A Kurdish refugee whose top mathematics prize was stolen minutes after he received the honor this week in Rio de Janeiro will get a replacement medal Saturday, organizers said.

Caucher Birkar, 40, received the gold Fields Medal, which is considered math's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, on Wednesday.

Less than an hour later, it emerged that his briefcase containing the award had vanished and when the case was found later at the Rio convention center hosting the event, the medal was missing.

But for Birkar—an Iranian Kurd who won political asylum and citizenship in Britain—minus one plus one equals gold again.

"On Saturday, he will receive an identical medal to the one that was stolen," said a spokesman for the International Congress of Mathematics, which organized the award ceremony.

Three other mathematicians were awarded the same , which is handed out only every four years.

The spokesman said that a fifth medal had been kept as a spare. All that remained to do was to have Birkar's name engraved.

Explore further: Kurdish refugee wins 'Nobel of mathematics' Fields medal (Update)

Related Stories

British scientist wins top French prize

September 18, 2013

Margaret Buckingham, a Scottish-born biologist, has been awarded one of France's top science prizes, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) announced on Wednesday.

Maths 'genius' Maryam Mirzakhani dies, aged 40

July 15, 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born mathematician who was the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, died Saturday in a US hospital after a battle with cancer. She was 40.

Recommended for you

Why war is a man's game

August 15, 2018

No sex differences in attitudes or abilities are needed to explain the near absence of women from the battlefield in ancient societies and throughout history, it could ultimately all be down to chance, say researchers at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.