The UPC will confer an honorary doctoral degree on the Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli


The UPC will confer an honorary doctoral degree on the Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli

On Friday 22 November, the Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli, who received a 2018 Fields Medal, will be awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the UPC. He is a professor at ETH Zurich and one of the most outstanding mathematicians worldwide today. The Governing Council approved the award, which was proposed by the School of Mathematics and Statistics (FME), on 24 May.

Nov 15, 2019

The honoris causa award to he Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) will take place on Friday 22 November in the auditorium of the Vèrtex building (Plaça Eusebi Güell, 6, Barcelona) and in live on UPCtv. Figalli,a professor of mathematics at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), received in August 2018 the Fields Medal, which is regarded as the mathematicians’ Nobel Prize and the highest honour in mathematics with the Abel Prize, for his contributions to the theory of optimal transport and its applications in partial differential equations, metric geometry and probability.

Figalli, who also won a prize from the European Mathematical Society and the Peccot Prize from the Collège de France in 2012, the Stampacchia Gold Medal in 2015 and the Feltrinelli Prize in mathematics in 2017, has strong ties with the UPC’s mathematical community and professors, with whom he has collaborated and published several scientific papers. He also supervised Xavier Ros Oton and Joaquim Serra Montolí—both holders of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the UPC—as postdoctoral students during their visits at the universities of Texas and Zurich respectively. He is currently supervising the doctoral thesis of Xavier Fernández Real, who holds a degree in mathematics from the UPC.

The proposal to confer an honorary doctoral degree on Figalli, approved by the Governing Council on 24 May, was sponsored by the School of Mathematics and Statistics (FME) and supported by the departments of Mathematics, Physics, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Statistics and Operations Research, and the Interdisciplinary Higher Education Centre (CFIS). Professor Xavier Cabré will act as the sponsor and deliver the oration on Alessio Figalli.

Professor Alessio Figalli graduated in mathematics from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa in 2004 (at the age of 20) and received a master’s degree from the same university in 2006. A year later, at the age of 23, he earned his doctoral degree in mathematics. His doctoral thesis was supervised by the professors Luigi Ambrosio, from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and a member of the Abel Committee, and Cédric Villani, of t
he École Normale Superiéure in Lyon and a Fields Medal winner in 2010.

His meteoric career, based on his multiple scientific contributions, led him to become an associate professor at the École Polytechnique (France) in 2008. In 2009 he became an associate professor at the University of Texas, in the United States, where he became a full professor just two years later, at the age of 27. In 2016 he became a full professor at ETH Zurich. He has been the principal investigator in several research projects at the National Science Foundation (United States) and the European Research Council.

He has been an honorary member of the European Academy of Sciences since 2017 and the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences since 2018. He has been a guest speaker at more than 100 conferences, such as the European Congress of Mathematics (ECM) in 2012 and the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in 2014, and a plenary speaker at the latter in 2018. He has supervised 11 doctoral theses and tutored 8 postdoctoral students. He is or has been the editor of more than 10 of the most prestigious journals in the field of mathematics and has published more than 120 scientific papers.