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Education Updated: 11 Jan 2018

Once again the Vicent Caselles awards recognize originality, relevance and creativity of six Spanish mathematicians

For the second consecutive year, BBVA Foundation and the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society (RSME in Spanish) have granted the Vicent Caselles Mathematical Research Awards. This year, six young Spanish mathematicians (under 30) received 2000 euros in recognition of their innovative work.

As it became apparent during their first edition, the Vicent Caselles awards aim primarily to foster research in a discipline that remains largely unknown for Spanish society. This edition of the awards has confirmed that Spanish mathematical research shows quality and potential and has garnered international regard.

The winners are:

– Roger Casals: has a PhD from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and works at the Mathematics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This young researcher has been chosen for his key research findings in the classical area of Geometry and Topology, including the characterization of a class of varieties that admit contact structures.

Casals has also won the RSME José Luis Rubio de Francia for the importance of his demonstration of the Chern conjecture with regard to five-dimensional varieties. According to the jury, this work is “the greatest finding in contact topology and it has revolutionized its field.” The José Luis Rubio de Francia award is granted annually to Spanish mathematicians that studied in Spain and are under 32 years of age.

– Francesc Castella: Assistant professor at UCLA, the award has been granted in recognition of his contribution to the algebraic number theory: he has partially demonstrated the Block-Kato conjecture and has achieved a new demonstration of the basic formula of Howard and Gross-Zagier.

– Leonardo Colombo: has a degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and currently works at Michigan University. His scientific contribution in Mechanical Geometry, geometrical integration and system control have been acknowledged. His work on the Hamiltonian structure and hybrid systems applied to robotics are of particular importance.

– José Manuel Conde Alonso: His PhD thesis has been especially important to harmonic analysis and its connection with probability methods. Open problems have been resolved and new research paths have been opened. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher for the European Research Council (ERC) at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB).

– Martín López García: Combining mathematics and evolutionary and cellular biology, this multidisciplinary researcher has brought an original insight into the modelling and numerical study of biological systems by using Markov’s random processes and applying them to epidemiology and evolution of populations. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Applied Mathematics department of Leeds University.

– Jesús Yepes Nicolás: doctor at the Universidad de Murcia, he collaborates with professors from the universities of Magdeburg and Florence and the Technical University of Berlin. In Convex Geometry, he has refined the Brunn-Minkowski inequalities and studied the roots and extreme cases of the Wills and Steiner polynomials and, as a result, refuted a 40-year-old Matheron conjecture.