January 2003 The Centre de recherches mathématiques and the
Fields Institute are pleased to announce the joint winners of
the CRMFields prize for 2003: John McKay of Concordia University
and Edwin Perkins of the University of British Columbia.
Edwin Perkins received his B.Sc. in mathematics from the University
of Toronto in 1975 and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois
(Urbana) in 1979. He is currently Professor of Mathematics and
holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia,
where he has been since 1979. He received the Rollo Davidson prize
for young probabilists in 1983, and the Canadian Mathematical
Society's CoxeterJames and JeffreyWilliams Prizes in 1986 and
2002. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in
1988 and held an NSERC Steacie Fellowship during 199294.
Edwin Perkins has made outstanding contributions to several areas
of probability theory and is one of the world's leading probabilists.
Much of his early work concerned the delicate analysis of the
sample paths of stochastic processes. His most spectacular achievements
are his contributions to the analysis of measurevalued diffusions,
or "superprocesses," where he has been a pioneer in
the development of the field. His accomplishments include deep
and surprising results about the support of superBrownian motion
including identification of its Hausdorff dimension, the identification
of the historical process as the correct way to understand geneology
in superprocesses, and the construction of a class of interacting
superprocesses.
John McKay of Concordia University's work revolves around the
properties of finite groups, their representations and their symmetries.
He has been at the origin of several of the most startling discoveries
in mathematics of our time, and is worldrenowned for launching
two areas of mathematics by his observations and conjectures,
one known as the McKay correspondence, and the other going under
the fanciful name of monstrous moonshine, underlying the role
of the largest sporadic simple group which is known as the monster.
His wide knowledge of mathematics has allowed him to bring to
the fore questions which have been deeply influential in the subsequent
development of the discipline, for example the work of Richard
Borcherds which was recognised by a Fields medal at the 1998 International
Congress of Mathematicians.
Professor McKay, amongst other achievements, is a pioneer in
the use of computers as a tool in algebra, either in the study
of sporadic groups (he is the codiscoverer of two such groups)
or in the explicit computation of Galois groups. He was also one
of the principal actors in one of the feats of computational algebra
of our time, the proof of the nonexistence of a projective plane
of order 10.
After obtaining his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Manchester,
he went on to obtain a doctorate in computer science in Edinburgh.
He held appointments at the Atlas laboratory in England, at Caltech
and at McGill University before moving to Concordia in 1974.
