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Sylvester Medal

James Joseph Sylvester FRS

Sylvester medallist 2020

Bryan BirchProfessor Bryan Birch FRS credit Mariana Cook

The Sylvester Medal 2020 is awarded to Professor Bryan Birch FRS whose work has played a major role in driving the theory of elliptic curves, through the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture and the theory of Heegner points.

Professor Birch's achievement will be celebrated at Anniversary Day on 30 November 2020. The prize is given with a medal and gift of £2,000.

Return to this year's Royal Society medal, award and prize winners.

The award

The Sylvester Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding researcher in the field of mathematics. The award was created in memory of the mathematician James Joseph Sylvester FRS (PDF), who was Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford in the 1880s. It was first awarded in 1901. The medal is of bronze, is now awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. 


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations opens in November 2020.

Sign up to be notified when nominations open. 

Past winners

Professor Peter Sarnak FRS was awarded the Sylvester Medal in 2019 for transformational contributions across number theory, combinatorics, analysis and geometry.

Professor Dusa McDuff FRS was awarded the Sylvester Medal in 2018 for her pioneering role in the development of the new field of symplectic geometry and topology. Her outstanding work includes many fundamental theorems and she has been inspirational for generations of mathematicians.

Professor Timothy Gowers FRS was awarded the Sylvester Medal in 2016 for his groundbreaking results in the theory of Banach spaces, pure combinatorics, and additive number theory. 

See full list of all past winners of the Sylvester Medal.

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