University of Chicago
2020 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics
For revolutionary discoveries in the dynamics and geometry of moduli spaces of Abelian differentials, including the proof of the “magic wand theorem” with Maryam Mirzakhani.
I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Breakthrough Prize. I would like to thank my advisor Peter Sarnak for taking a chance on me when my career faltered, and for giving me my outlook on mathematics. I would also like to thank my many friends and colleagues, and in particular Howard Masur and Anton Zorich for patiently teaching me Teichmüller theory. I am deeply in debt to my late coauthor Maryam Mirzakhani; without her brilliance, strength and persistence the work recognized by the prize committee could not have been done. Last but not least, I am very grateful to my wife Ania for her constant support and encouragement.