2014 New Horizons in Physics Prize
For uncovering numerous structures underlying scattering amplitudes in gauge theories and gravity.
Growing up in Venezuela performing scattering experiments with marbles in the dirt, it was difficult to imagine that one day I would be recognized for work on the scattering of gluons and gravitons. This unlikely sequence of events requires a great amount of luck. I am very lucky to have a mother who has always supported me even when everybody else advised me against the insane decision of changing a future career in engineering for one in physics. I was very lucky to have great mentors: Alvaro Restuccia, Edi Gava, Hossein Sarmadi, Kumar Narain, Seif Randjbar-Daemi, Cumrun Vafa, Nathan Seiberg and Edward Witten. The subject of scattering amplitudes has also had its share of luck. In 2003, Witten brought it back to the spotlight after years of being dormant. In 2008, it was able to attract Nima Arkani-Hamed, who has rocketed it to new heights. Saving the best for last, 20 years ago I met my wife, Carolina Molina. She has been my constant source of encouragement ever since. We are very fortunate to have received the best gifts of all: Daniel, Samuel and Matias, my sons, from whom we continue to learn so much every day.