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Fields Medal

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The Fields Medal is a prize given to two, three, or four people who study math who are not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, a meeting that takes place every four years.

The Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields was the first to propose this medal and it was first awarded in 1936. It has been regularly awarded since 1950. Its purpose is to give recognition and support to younger mathematical researchers who have made major contributions.

Standing of the award

The Fields Medal is viewed, at least in the media, as the top honor a mathematician can receive.[1] It comes with a monetary award, which in 2006 was C$15,000 (US$13,400 or 10,550).[2]

Conditions of the award

Because of its prestige, the Fields Medal is often described as the "Nobel Prize of mathematics,", but the comparison is not so good. First, it is awarded not only to recognize the valuable contributions of a mathematician but also to encourage him or her to continue his work. The Fields Medals have generally been awarded for a mathematician's whole work, rather than for a particular result.

Another difference is that the Fields Medal is awarded every four years, and its recipients cannot be over the age of 40. Also, the money awarded with the medal is much lower than the US$1.3 million given with each Nobel prize.

Fields Medalists


  1. "Reclusive Russian turns down math world's highest honour". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
  2. Woolls, Daniel (2006-08-22). "Russian refuses math's highest honor". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2006-08-26.

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