1980 Balzan Prize for Mathematics
Born in Milan in 1940, Bombieri is considered one of the greatest contemporary mathematicians. Professor of mathematical analysis at the Scuola Normale di Pisa since 1974, he currently works at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Princeton in New Jersey.
Ever since he was very young, his main interest has been number theory and minimal surfaces. For his studies in these areas as well as in mathematical analysis, he was awarded the Fields Medal in 1974.
Bombieri’s work is published in over seventy works that range from number theory and minimal surfaces to transcendence theory, the theory of univalent functions, exponential sums, algebraic geometry and, more recently, the theory of finite groups.
In particular, Bombieri has raised Linnik’s large sieve theory to one of the most powerful tools available for the study of prime numbers in our day, and more in general, for analytic arithmetic (Bombieri’s mean value theorem). His most recent works are dedicated to questions of transcendence and to solving the problem of the uniqueness of Ree groups. This last work especially demonstrates the prodigious capacity of Bombieri’s calculus thanks to which he has obtained a surprising solution by means of the classical tools of algebra and algebraic geometry.