Maybe You Shouldn’t Fall Asleep in Your Math Class
On sunday a record of 12 Breakthrough Prizes were handed out, the award created two years ago by Russian billionaire venture capitalist Yuri Milner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other tech industry luminaries. Each prize is worth $3 million, almost three times the cash a Nobel Prize winner receives.
This year is the first to honor mathematicians. Five won for work ranging from algebraic geometry to analytic number theory. In future, just one prize a year will go to a mathematician, organizers say; the large number Sunday celebrates the inaugural year for math.
Six prizes went to researchers in life sciences for discoveries in areas ranging from bacterial immunity to genetic regulation. The physics prize went to a group that showed the expansion of the universe was accelerating, not slowing as assumed.
The prizes’ funders aim to generate a sense of excitement around scientific accomplishment, Milner said in an interview.