Adams Prize winner 2012-13 announced

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

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 the Mathematical Sciences.

This year’s topic was "Topology", and the Prize has been awarded to Professor Ivan Smith (University of Cambridge).

Professor Tim Gowers, Chairman of the Adams Prize Adjudicators, said:

"Ivan Smith has proved several beautiful and important results in symplectic topology. With Simon Donaldson, he found new proofs of some major results of Taubes that were simpler and that avoided delicate use of machinery from outside symplectic topology. With Paul Seidel, he attacked the problem of understanding the nature of Khovanov cohomology, a mysterious but very useful invariant. They developed a geometric definition that was later shown, by Smith and Abouzaid, to be an alternative definition of Khovanov cohomology. Also with Abouzaid, he showed that the famous homological mirror symmetry conjecture of Kontsevich is true for any product when it is true for the factors: this yielded new examples of manifolds for which the conjecture holds. With Seidel he proved a conjecture of Eliashberg and Gromov, showing that there are well-behaved exotic symplectic structures on Euclidean space. These are just a few of the achievements that caused Smith to stand out from a very strong field."

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 role in the discovery of the planet Neptune, through calculation of the discrepancies in the orbit of Uranus.

For further information, please contact:

  1. Faculty Office, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Cambridge.
    Tel: 01223 337968; e-mail:
  2. Office of External Affairs and Communications, University of Cambridge.
    Tel: 01223 332300; e-mail: