Efim Zelmanov
  • 1994 Fields Medal


Russian-American mathematician. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1994 for his work on combinatorial problems in non- associative algebra and group theory, including his solution of the restricted Burnside problem.

Education and Work Experience

1981, Ph.D. in Mathematics, Novosibirsk State University
1996-Present, Distinguished Professor, Korea Institute for Advanced Study
2002-Present, Professor of Mathematics, Rita L. Atkinson Chair in Mathematics, UCSD
2019-Present, Scientific Director, International Center of Mathematics, SUSTech, Shenzhen

Honors and Awards

1992, Collège de France Medal
1994, Fields Medal
1996, Andre Aizenstadt Prize
2001, Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

Efim Zelmanov received the Fields Medal for his brilliant solution to the long-time open Restricted Burnside Problem. It is a problem deep-rooted in group theory, the basis for the mathematical study of symmetries. What is asked for is a bound for the number of symmetries of an object, when each symmetry has bounded order. Prior to the solution of the Restricted Burnside Problem, Zelmanov had already made important contributions to the theory of Lie algebras and to that of Jordan algebras; these theories have their origins in geometry, respectively in quantum mechanics. Some of his results that were achieved there were of crucial importance for his group theoretical work. In this way, the unity of mathematics is once again documented and it shows how much seemingly far apart areas are connected and influence each other.