The University of Cambridge has announced the winner of one of its oldest and most prestigious prizes, the Adams Prize.

The Adams Prize is awarded jointly each year by the Faculty of Mathematics and St John’s College to a young (normally under 40 years of age), UK-based researcher doing first class international research in mathematical sciences.

This year’s topic was “Discrete Mathematics or Number Theory”, and the Prize has been awarded jointly to Professor Harald Helfgott of the University of Bristol and Dr Tom Sanders of the University of Cambridge.

Professor Arieh Iserles, Chairman of the Adams Prize Adjudicators, said: “The work of both this year’s winners has transformed our understanding of important topics in analytic number theory. They have each introduced new methodologies and techniques in applying deep tools from analysis in number theory; their results have already fostered much new research of world’s leading mathematicians.

“Harald Helfgott’s work is a major breakthrough in understanding expanders in general groups, a major problem in additive combinatorics. Tom Sanders employed deep harmonic analysis to understand arithmetic progressions and answering long-standing conjectures in number theory.

“This is the place to pay tribute to a large number of very strong candidates in discrete mathematics and number theory, whom we have been considering this year. The sheer breadth and strength of this year’s entries attests to the impressive standards of this subject in the United Kingdom, in particular among young and up-and-coming mathematicians.”

The Adams Prize is named after the mathematician John Couch Adams and was endowed by members of St John's College. It is currently worth approximately £14,000. It commemorates Adams's discovery of the planet Neptune, through calculation of the discrepancies in the orbit of Uranus.

Previous winners have included many well known mathematicians including James Clerk Maxwell and Sir William Hodge.

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