Home Home >News >Updates

Five scientists awarded WLA Prize in Shanghai

China Daily| Updated: Nov 7, 2023 L M S

Visitors view a poster outside the venue of the sixth World Laureates Forum, which opened on Monday in the Lingang Special Area of Shanghai. GAO EROIANG/CHINA DAILY

The winners of the 2023 World Laureates Association Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics, and Life Science or Medicine, received their medals in Shanghai on Monday.

Arkadi Nemirovski, professor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, and Yurii Nesterov, professor at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics and Mathematical Engineering at the University of Louvain in Belgium, were awarded the 2023 WLA Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics "for their seminal work in convex optimization theory".

Michael I. Jordan, chair of the Selection Committee for the WLA Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics, said, "Optimization theory is arguably the area of mathematics that has had the most significant impact outside of mathematics over the past three decades."

He said that optimization theory has found major applications in fields such as control systems, economics, signal processing, machine learning, resource allocation, energy management, supply chain management and finance. In many of these fields it has provided both conceptual foundations and the basis for the design of practical algorithms and real-world applications.

The medals and certificates of the WLA Prize in Life Science or Medicine went to Karolin Luger, professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, Daniela Rhodes from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK, and Timothy J. Richmond, professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

Randy Schekman, chair of the World Laureate Association Prize in Life Science or Medicine, said, "One of the great mysteries of cellular organization is how our chromosomes containing DNA molecules, which could stretch to a meter in length, and which carry approximately three billion bits of information, can be organized into the nucleus of a cell which is only about 1,000th the size of the period at the end of this sentence."

He praised the winners, saying they "have left an indelible mark on the history of our understanding of chromosome structure ... for elucidating the structure of the nucleosome at the atomic level, providing the basis for understanding chromatin, gene regulation and epigenetics".

The WLA Prize is an international science prize established in 2021.Each year, the prize is awarded in two categories with the total award for each being 10 million yuan ($1.37 million).

It aims to recognize and support eminent researchers and technologies worldwide for their contributions to science, according to the World Laureates Association, one of the largest non-governmental and non-profit organizations for laureates globally.

The winners were announced during the opening ceremony of the sixth World Laureates Forum, with hundreds of scientists from 25 countries and regions, including 27 Nobel laureates, gathering in Shanghai for in-depth discussions on topics such as life sciences, intelligent science and China's dual carbon goals.

Roger Kornberg, chairman of the WLA and 2006 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, said, "It is a jewel in the crown of Shanghai and a beacon of hope in these difficult times," adding that the WLA now counts over 180 winners of all the major prizes in the world, including 70 Nobel laureates in all fields.