Yuri Ivanovich Manin was born in Simferopol (USSR) in 1939. He received his MSc in mathematics from Moscow University and Ph.D. and Habilitation from the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He published his first paper while still an undergraduate student. He served as professor of Mathematics at Moscow University, and Visiting Professor at Columbia University and MIT in the USA. In 1993, he was appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn. He retired in 2005 and is currently an honorary professor of mathematics at Max Planck Institute, professor at Northwestern University (Evanston, USA) and Senior Researcher at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow.
Professor Manin is one of the most influential mathematicians, with broad research interests covering algebra, geometry, number theory, theoretical computer science and mathematical physics. His earlier achievements include proof of the Model conjecture, introduction of the Gauss-Manin Connection, a vital tool in modern algebraic geometry, and disproof of the Luroth problem (jointly with Iskoviskih). In the number theory, he discovered certain constraints known as Brauer-Manin Obstruction to the existence of rational solutions to Diophantine equations. He also launched a program to study algebraic manifolds and carried out – with his students – widely recognized work on error-correcting codes algorithms. From the late 1970s, he turned his attention to the application of algebraic geometry to mathematical physics, and made significant advances in quantum field theory and quantum string theory. More recently, he contributed to the development of a mathematical theory of quantum homology. He authored 14 books and more than 200 scientific papers in prestigious journals, and mentored countless students from around the world. Professor Manin’s intellectual pursuit extends beyond mathematics; he published research and expository papers in literature, mythology, semiotics, physics, linguistics, glotto-genesis, history of culture, and philosophy of science.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Science, Professor Manin’s outstanding contributions to both mathematics and physics were recognized by numerous prestigious prizes, medals, honorary doctorate degrees (from France, Sweden and UK), fellowships of major scientific academies and Institutes of many countries (Russia, USA, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy), honorary lectureships and editorships of major mathematical journals.
A special Conference was held to discuss his work and a number of mathematical journals published special issues in his honor. A special conference was also held in Manin’s honor at the Max Planck Institute of Mathematics on the occasion of his 70th birthday. His latest honor was the Bolyai Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences which he received in 2010.
Professor Manin, has been awarded the prize, in recognition of his outstanding fundamental contributions to the advancement of different fields of mathematics and mathematical physics. His work extends from the most abstract field of number theory to the most practical, dealing with the establishment of secure mathematical foundations for present-day physical theories explaining the structure of matter and the universe.