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FIELDS MEDAL WINNERS

Named after Professor J. C. Fields, a Canadian mathematician who funded the award, the Fields Medal is the highest honor in the world for mathematicians. These gold medals are presented every four years, at the International Congress of Mathematicians, to two (and beginning in 1966, four) mathematical researchers under forty years of age of outstanding accomplishment and great future promise—much like the standards the Guggenheim Foundation sets for its Fellows.  And in fact the two inaugural Fields medalists would later be appointed to Guggenheim fellowships. The obverse of the medal, which features the head of Archimedes, is inscribed with a quote from that classical mathematician: “Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri,” that is, “Rise above oneself and grasp the world.”