Centre de recherches mathématiques and the Fields Institute
are pleased to announce joint winners of the 2003 CRM-Fields Prize:
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 Coxeter-James
and Jeffrey-Williams Prizes in 1986 and 2002. He was elected Fellow
of the Royal Society of Canada in 1988 and held an NSERC Steacie
Fellowship during 1992-94.
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 measure-valued 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 super-Brownian 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
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 world-renowned 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 co-discoverer 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 non-existence 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.