School of Maths Professor awarded the London Mathematical Society's Polya Prize
28 Nov 2017
Alex Wilkie FRS, Emeritus Professor in the School of Mathematics, has been awarded the London Mathematical Society's Polya Prize, for `his profound contributions to model theory and to its connections with real analytic geometry'
Much of Wilkie's work has been in the area of o-minimality: an abstract logical property which appears in many important mathematical structures, including the real numbers, which have a notion of "ordering". His most famous result establishes finiteness theorems for subsets of euclidean space definable from the usual operations of arithmetic and the exponential function. More recently, in joint work with Jonathan Pila FRS, he proved a result on the distribution of rational points on sets definable in o-minimal structures. This work opened up new and flourishing connections between mathematical logic and number theory.
Wilkie was Fielden Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Manchester from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. He is currently Emeritus Professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of Manchester and also a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. He has received several other awards, including the Karp prize of the Association for Symbolic logic twice, in 1993 and in 2013. He was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians on two occasions, in 1986 and 1998. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001, and a member of Academia Europaea in 2013.