Professor Nigel Hitchin FRS, Savilian Professor of Geometry in the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford has won the prestigious Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences for, in the words of the Prize Foundation "his far-reaching contributions to geometry, representation theory and theoretical physics. The fundamental and elegant concepts and techniques that he has introduced have had wide impact and are of lasting importance."
Professor Frances Kirwan FRS, a colleague in Oxford, paid tribute: "Nigel Hitchin has made fundamental contributions to the fields of differential and algebraic geometry and richly deserves the award of the Shaw Prize. His work has influenced a wide range of areas in geometry and mathematical physics, including symplectic and hyperkähler geometry, the theory of instanton and monopole equations, twistor theory, integrable systems, Higgs bundles, Einstein metrics and mirror symmetry."
Professor Martin Bridson FRS, Head of the Mathematical Institute in Oxford, said: "'it is a real joy to see Nigel Hitchin's profound and influential work recognised by the award of the 2016 Shaw Prize. His inspiring intellectual leadership in geometry has been matched throughout his career by many services to the mathematical community in the UK and across the world, for which we are all deeply grateful. Oxford has been extremely fortunate to have Nigel with us for so much of his career, and we are very proud of him."
Nigel said on news of the award: "I am delighted and honoured to be awarded this prize. Since most of my working life has been spent in Oxford, it is also a recognition of the support I have received here. I was pleased to note that my “twin” in New College, the Savilian Professor of Astronomy, won the Shaw prize a few years ago.”
The Shaw Prize is an annual award first presented by the Shaw Prize Foundation in 2004. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong it honours living individuals who are currently active in their respective fields and who have recently achieved distinguished and significant advances, who have made outstanding contributions in academic and scientific research or applications, or who in other domains have achieved excellence. The 2016 prize is worth US$1.2m to each winner.