Mohammed Abouzaid

Columbia University

2017 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize

For distinguishing cotangent bundles of exotic spheres, constructing the wrapped Fukaya category with Paul Seidel, and other decisive contributions to symplectic topology and mirror symmetry.


I would like to thank the following people, in the order in which they contributed to my development as a mathematician: my parents for keeping a bookcase full of scientific texts within reach of their curious children; Mr. Lashgar for assigning his 6th grade students problems in Euclidean geometry which I am not sure I could solve now if I tried; my high school teacher Kelly for allowing me to spend 12th grade reading a calculus textbook; Dr. Nall for giving me a B- on my first multivariable calculus exam and subsequently for directing my undergraduate thesis; Dr. Davis for providing my first experience of mathematical research, and suggesting that I could do this for a living; Dr. Kerchove for making me realise that I still did not understand the implicit function theorem; Shmuel Weinberger for teaching me much about topology and for firing me as his graduate student; and Paul Seidel for taking me as his graduate student. Before I run out of space, I should not fail to include a general acknowledgement for friends, colleagues, and students, from whom I learned much over the years.

Mohammed Abouzaid