Laurent Lafforgue
  • 2002 Fields Medal


French mathematician. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 2002 for outstanding contributions to Langlands' program in the fields of number theory and analysis, and in particular proving the Langlands conjectures for the automorphism group of a function field.

Education and Work Experience

1986-1990, Studied in the École Normale Supérieure in Paris
1990-1994, Ph.D. in Algebraic Geometry, University of Paris
2000-Present, Professor at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies, France

Honors and Awards

2000, Clay Research Award
2002, Fields Medal

Major Academic Achievements

Building on work by the 1990 Fields Medalist, Russian Vladimir Drinfeld, Lafforgue established one important case of the Langlands conjectures. Langlands proposed a way of dealing with the more general, noncommutative case. Their proof would unify large areas of algebra, number theory, and analysis, but proving them has been exceptionally difficult. Lafforgue has now established these conjectures in an analogous but profoundly significant setting. In his work Lafforgue established a “dictionary” in which prime numbers can be thought of as points on a curve, thus bringing together algebraic geometry and number theory. This allowed powerful tools from algebraic geometry to be applied to number theory problems.