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Praise of Prof. Simon Donaldson

Sir Simon K. Donaldson FRS is now permanent member of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics (Stony Brook University) and Professor in Pure Mathematics at Imperial College London.

He was born in 1957, graduated in 1979 from University of Cambridge and began his PhD degree at University of Oxford, first under the supervision of Prof. Nigel Hitchin and later of Prof. Sir Michael Atiyah. While being a doctoral student, he proved in 1982 the impressive result for which he received the Fields Medal in 1986, which established severe restrictions on the topology of smooth 4-manifolds through the study of instantons.

After obtaining his PhD degree from University of Oxford in 1983, Simon Donaldson was Junior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1983-84, Wallis Professor of Mathematics at University of Oxford from 1985 to 1997, Visiting Professor at Stanford University in 1997-98, and Professor at Imperial College London since 1998. Since 2014 he is member of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University in New York, US, expending his time between Imperial College and the Simons Center.

Simon Donaldson has received numerous awards and distinctions. He obtained the Junior Whitehead Prize of the London Mathematical Society in 1985, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (UK) in 1986 and received the Fields Medal in 1986. In 1994, he was awarded the Crafoord Prize. More recently, in 2006, Donaldson received the King Faisal International Prize for Science, and in 2008 the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics. He has been awarded in 2009 the prestigious Shaw Prize in Mathematics (jointly with Clifford Taubes) for outstanding contributions to geometry in 3 and 4 dimensions. In 2010, he has been elected foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and was named "Sir" (UK) in 2012 for services to mathematics. In 2012 he was named Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and in March 2014 he was awarded the "Doctor Honoris Causa" by Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble. In 2014 he won the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, worth three million dollars.