King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) recognizes excellence in 5 categories: Service to Islam, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language & Literature, Medicine, and Science, since 1979

Professor Simon Kirwan Donaldson

Winner of the  
KFIP Prize for  
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Topic: Mathematics


Nationality: United Kingdom
2006 - Professor Simon K. Donaldson

Professor Simon Kirwan Donaldson


HE Dr. Abd Allah Al-Rashed representing Professor Saimon Kirwan Donaldson at the award ceremony

Simon Kirwan Donaldson was born in 1957 in Cambridge, England. He obtained his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1979 and Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1983. During his doctoral studies he proved results on 4-dimensional manifolds which stunned the mathematical world. One consequence of this was the existence of exotic differentiable structures on Euclidean 4-space. After completing of his Ph.D. studies, he was appointed a Junior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A In 1985, when he was merely 28 years old, he became the Wallis Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. He held that position until 1997 then worked for one year as Hoagland professor at Stanford University in the U.S.A. before moving to Imperial College, London in 1999, where he is currently the Royal Society Research Professor of Pure Mathematics and President of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences at the Imperial College in London.

Professor Donaldson’s distinguished contributions to mathematics fall into three main categories: the applications of the gauge theory to 4-manifold topology, the differential geometry of holomorphic vector bundles and certain aspects of symplectic geometry. He spurred great interest in the gauge theory by discovering deep connections between four-dimensional toplogy
and Yang-Mills theory, and by using ideas from that theory to solve problems of mathematics.

A highly acclaimed mathematician, Donaldson was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London at the age of 29, and simultaneously awarded the Field Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. Aside from the King Faisal International Prize for Science, he received several other awards, including the Royal Medal of the Royal Society (1992), the Crafoord Prize of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science (1994), the Polya Prize of the London Mathematical Society (1999), the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2008) and the Shaw Prize in Mathematics (2009). His other honors include plenary lectureships at International and European Congresses of Mathematicians and the International Congress of Mathematical Physics. He was elected a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2000, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy in 2010. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College (Cambridge University) and St. Anne’s College (Oxford University). He published numerous original articles, conference papers, books and book chapter and supervised some 35 graduate students at Oxford University. He also served on the ditorial boards of major mathematical journals and was Chief Editor of Topology for 6 years. He also served on the Council of the London Mathematical Society and the Scientific Committees of the Max Planck Institute (Germany), the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies) in France and the Newton Institute at Cambridge (U.K.). From 1988-2002, he was the Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union.

Professor Simon K. Donaldson, has been awarded the prize, For his seminal contributions to theories which have strengthened the links between mathematics and physics, and helped provide a rigorous foundation for physical theories giving a very’ good description of the laws of matter at the sub-nuclear level. This has helped establish strong ties with the formulation of quantum chromodynamics .

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Simon Donaldson (Royal Society Research Professor)
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