James Maynard awarded the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

Montreal, January 22, 2015. - In December 2014, James Maynard, a 2013-14 CRM-ISM Postdoctoral Fellow (currently at Oxford University), was awarded the top world prize for a young number theorist, the SASTRA Ramanujan prize, by SASTRA University in India, citing his "spectacular contributions to number theory, especially on some famous problems on prime numbers."

In November 2013, Maynard proved a remarkable result on small gaps between primes, which eventually showed that there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive primes whose difference is at most 246. This result has now appeared in the Annals of Mathematics.

Then in August 2014, while still in Montreal, Maynard proved another beautiful result, this time about large gaps between primes, namely how far apart can two consecutive primes get. This longstanding problem, an improvement on a lower bound known as Rankin’s formula, was made famous by Paul Erdös, who offered his highest award ($10000) for the solution.  A similar result had been proved independently by Ford, Konyagin, Green, and Tao, but Maynard's proof rests on a different idea, which is simpler and more flexible. A vast improvement will appear as a joint paper of all five authors.

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Source: Centre de recherches mathématiques.