The genius of mathematics received a prize of 2.3 million pounds (223.9 million rubles) from the Mark Zuckerberg Foundation for solving complex equations resulting from stirring a cup of tea. 44-year-old Martin Hairer of Imperial College London hit the jackpot as winner of the 2021 Breakthrough prize in mathematics, according to the Daily Mail.
The Austrian-British researcher who lives in London with his wife, mathematician Xue-Mei Li, was engaged in stochastic analysis. This area, based on the calculus of Japanese mathematician Kiyoshi Ito, allowed him to dive into how random effects turn the mathematics of things like stirring tea into challenging problems. His work is so complex that it surprised even other mathematicians.
Jeremy Quastel, professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto, once joked to colleagues about his work: “The theory must have been a message from aliens.”
Now Professor Hairer and his wife are going to buy a house in London when the prize money goes into his account.
The mathematician wrote a 180-page treatise on the idea of ”structures of regularity.” Professor Hairer specializes in stochastic partial differential equations, which studies how random actions turn normal things into chaos. This could be the movement of air in a wind tunnel or the way a drop of water seeps through the fabric when it hits it. But when the random act is very strong, solving the equation can become extremely difficult.
Stochasticity means randomness. A random process is a process whose behavior is not deterministic, and the subsequent state of such a system is described by both predictable and random quantities.
Professor Hairer’s creation of regularity structures, published in 2014, allowed him to tame the random act and rethink it, which allowed him to solve equations.
The Briton learned that he had won the award for a breakthrough in mathematics, established by Zuckerberg and Israeli-Russian investor Yuri Milner, during a Skype conference during self-isolation. Professor Hairer studied mathematics at the University of Geneva.