Honours and Awards


Honorary Membership
David Crighton Medal
Sylvester Medal
Collingwood Memorial Prize


The London Mathematical Society has elected Professor Pierre Deligne to Honorary Membership of the Society in recognition of his monumental contributions to algebraic geometry.

Viewed as a whole, Deligne’s work concerns many different aspects of the cohomology of algebraic varieties. It has turned Grothendieck’s philosophy of motives from a conjectural program into what is the driving force behind many of the most subtle areas of current algebraic geometry and arithmetic. Through an unparalleled blend of penetrating insights, fearless technical

mastery and dazzling ingenuity, Deligne has single-handedly brought about a new understanding of the cohomology of varieties, both classical and in finite characteristic, with numerous applications to deep problems in geometry and number theory.

A tour of his achievements includes: his famous 1974 proof of the last of the Weil conjectures (the ‘Riemann Hypothesis’ for varieties over finite fields); his construction in 1968 of the adic representation associated to a modular form, yielding the proof of the Ramanujan–Petersson conjecture, as well as providing substantial evidence for the Langlands program, and motivation for the solution by Wiles and others of the Taniyama–Shimura–Weil conjecture; the development of the theory of weights and mixed sheaves; the algebraic study of intersection cohomology (with Beilinson and Bernstein), perverse sheaves, t-structures and derived categories, and the decomposition theorem; the existence of mixed Hodge structures on the cohomology of varieties over the complex numbers; differential equations with regular singular points, and the solution of Hilbert’s 21st problem; the theory of absolute Hodge cycles on Abelian varieties, and the identification of the Taniyama group with the Galois group of the category of CM motives; his ingenious proof of the existence of local factors, a key ingredient of the Langlands program; his discovery of the motivic structure on the fundamental group of an algebraic variety, providing in the simplest case of the projective line minus three points a link between polylogarithms and mixed Tate motives, and (with Beilinson) giving a motivic interpretation of Zagier’s conjecture on special values of the Dedekind zeta-function of a number field.

Professor Deligne is a member of the Paris Académie des Sciences, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Académie Royale de Belgique. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1978, and the Crafoord Prize of the Swedish Academy in 1988. He is currently Professor at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton.

Back to Top


The Councils of the London Mathematical Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications have awarded the David Crighton Medal for 2003 for services to mathematics and to the mathematics community to Professor John Ball, FRS, Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Oxford.

John Ball is an outstanding mathematician of international stature. At the same time he has exerted himself both nationally and internationally for the good of Mathematics and its community. In particular, his activity internationally has done much to raise the profile of UK Mathematics, especially of Applied Mathematics. He has an exceptional record of getting things done and making things happen – in this he demonstrates the qualities of David Crighton himself.

Nationally, he was very effective in helping to establish the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Scotland. Over the years it has been, and remains, a major national asset.

John Ball was President of the London Mathematical Society from 1996-1998, and led the Society’s moves throughout that period to increase its activity and influence in its promotion of mathematics and its links with other bodies.

He has been a member of the Council of the EPSRC, acting as a liaison with the Royal Society and speaking up for mathematics as well as for the sciences and engineering. He chaired the 1998 EPSRC review of the Isaac Newton Institute.

Internationally, John Ball has been for some years prominent in the activities of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), in particular as a member of the Fields Medal Committee and of the Programme Committee for the 2002 Beijing International Congress. At the 2002 Shanghai IMU General Assembly he was elected President of the IMU for the next four years, bringing distinction to the UK mathematics community. He was one of the five members of the Abel Prize committee which awarded its first international prize in June 2003.

Much of John Ball’s research focuses on the calculus of variations and its applications to solid mechanics, bringing to bear an armoury of knowledge and techniques of mathematical analysis and algebra. His papers illustrate in many ways his fine qualities in linking mathematics with mechanics.

At the EPSRC-IMA-LMS conference in 2001, on ‘Connectivity between Mathematics and Engineering’, Ball’s contribution was a highlight, showing how the choice of the space of functions is of such importance in the construction of numerical/computational schemes that converge to physically relevant solutions.

Back to Top


The Royal Society has awarded the Sylvester Medal for 2003 to Professor Lennart Carleson, ForMemRS, for his deep and fundamental contributions to mathematics in the field of analysis and complex dynamics. His most spectacular achievement was the proof of the convergence almost everywhere of the Fourier Series of square integrable and continuous functions. Professor Carleson is an Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society.

Other recipients of Royal Society Awards and Medals for 2003 are:


Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture – Dr Michael Neuberger, FRS
Royal Society Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Award – Professor Derek Fray
Copley Medal – Sir John Gurdon, FRS
Gabor Medal – Professor Jean Beggs, FRS
Royal Medals – Sir Nicholas Shackleton, FRS, Sir John Skehel, FRS, and Professor Kenneth Johnson, FRS
Davy Medal – Professor Roger Parsons, FRS
Hughes Medal – Professor Peter Edwards, FRS

The winners of the awards will receive them at a ceremony during the Royal Society’s Anniversary Day on 1 December 2003.

Back to Top


The 2003 Collingwood Memorial Prize has been awarded to Anna R. Lishman, University College, who will study for a PhD in Mathematical Physics at Durham University from October 2003. The Collingwood Memorial Prize, established in memory of Sir Edward Collingwood, FRS, President of the Society 1969-1970, is awarded to a final-year mathematics student at the University of Durham who intends to continue to a higher degree in mathematics at Durham or any other university.

Back to Top