11 April 2012

Prestigious prize for mathematical achievement

Professor Ib Madsen is one of the world’s leading researchers within pure mathematics. The Ostrowski Prize, which is for more than DKK 600,000, is awarded every other year by an international jury from the universities in Basel, Jerusalem, Waterloo and the Netherlands for outstanding achievements in pure mathematics. The prize has been awarded since 1989.

Throughout his long career, Ib Madsen has been a sought-after person on the international mathematical scene with countless lectures and residences at, for example, European and US universities. Ib Madsen is well-known as a problem-solver through the use of topological methods. At an age when many mathematicians are at an academic standstill, he solved the Mumford conjecture which deals with numerical theory but which, very surprisingly, was solved by means of topological methods.

Ib Madsen is a member of, e.g., the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and both the Norwegian and Swedish academies, and he has been awarded numerous prizes over the years. He is also one of only a handful of Danish mathematicians to have been a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Ib Madsen was born and grew up in Copenhagen, but was employed for almost 40 years at Aarhus University. In 2008, he took up a new position at the University of Copenhagen.

“He is a team player and very keen to support mathematics in Denmark. In recent years, the Department of Mathematical Sciences has been greatly strengthened, among other things through the appointment of Ib Madsen, so that the department is now world-class,” says Erik Kjær Pedersen, Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

Ib Madsen has previously been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, but, of course, continues to teach. He is married to Ulla Lykke Jørgensen and has two children, and spends his spare time listening to jazz legends such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus.

The Ostrowski Prize 2011 is shared between Ib Madsen (DK), David Preiss (UK) and Kannan Soundararajan (India/USA)