Mohammed Abouzaid, a Columbia mathematics professor, has received the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize, a prestigious $100,000 award given to early-career physicists and mathematicians. Abouzaid was recognized for his groundbreaking research in topology, or the study of the shape of space.
“Certain patterns just exist, and we try to understand them for their intrinsic value,” says Abouzaid, who joined Columbia in 2012. “The great range of modern-day applications of mathematics to real-world problems has grown out of centuries of such inquiry by men and women who pursued the mysteries that arise in mathematics and studied them for their aesthetic beauty. I hope that future generations will view the work I and my colleagues are doing in a similar light.”