Maryna Viazovska

Maryna Sergiivna Viazovska (Ukrainian: Марина Сергіївна В'язовська;[1] born 1984)[2] is a Ukrainian mathematician known for her work in sphere packing. She is currently full professor at the Chair of Number Theory at the Institute of Mathematics of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.[3]

Viazovska was born in Kyiv, and attended a specialized secondary school for high-achieving students in science and technology, Kyiv Natural Science Lyceum No. 145. An influential teacher there, Andrii Knyazyuk, had previously worked as a professional research mathematician before becoming a secondary school teacher.[4] As a student at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, she competed at the in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and was one of the first-place winners in 2002 and 2005.[5]

Viazovska earned a candidate degree from the in 2010,[1] a master's from the University of Kaiserslautern, and a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Bonn in 2013. Her doctoral dissertation, Modular Functions and Special Cycles, concerns analytic number theory and was supervised by Don Zagier and Werner Müller.[6]

She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Berlin Mathematical School and the Humboldt University of Berlin[7] and a Minerva Distinguished Visitor[8] at Princeton University. Since January 2018 she has held the Chair of Number Theory as a full professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland after a short stint as tenure-track assistant professor.[3]

In 2016, Viazovska solved the sphere-packing problem in dimension 8[9][10][11] and, in collaboration with others, in dimension 24.[12][7] Previously, the problem had been solved only for three or fewer dimensions, and the proof of the three-dimensional version (the Kepler conjecture) involved long computer calculations. In contrast, Viazovska's proof for 8 and 24 dimensions is "stunningly simple".[7]

As well as for her work on sphere packing, Viazovska is also known for her research on spherical designs with Bondarenko and Radchenko. With them she proved a conjecture of Korevaar and Meyers on the existence of small designs in arbitrary dimensions. This result was one of the contributions for which her co-author Andriy Bondarenko won the Vasil A. Popov Prize for approximation theory in 2013.[13]

In 2016, Viazovska received the Salem Prize[14] and, in 2017, the Clay Research Award and the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for her work on sphere packing and modular forms.[15][16] In December 2017, she was awarded a 2018 New Horizons Prize in Mathematics.[17] She was an invited speaker at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians.[18] For 2019 she was awarded the Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics[19] and the Fermat Prize.[20] She is one of the 2020 winners of the EMS Prize.[21] In 2020, she also received the National Latsis Prize awarded by the Latsis Foundation.[22]