Mathematician Xavier Ros Oton, awarded with the Gold Medal Guido Stampacchia

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Xavier Ros Oton.
Xavier Ros Oton.

Xavier Ros Oton, ICREA research professor and professor at the University of Barcelona, has been distinguished with the Gold Medal Guido Stampacchia . This international award, given by the Italian Mathematician Union, honors experts aged up to thirty-five whose research studies are significant in the field of the variational analysis and its applications.

"The Stampacchia medal is a great international award, one of the most important in my field of research. The previous awardees are professors in ETH Zurich, Princeton, Columbia and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (New York), and one of them received the Fields Medal in 2018. For me, it is an honor to be in the list of awardees", notes Ros Oton.

The jury defined the researcher as "world leader in the field of partial differential equations in variational theory", a field in which he conducted several new fundamental techniques. Ros Oton is the first researcher in Spain to be awarded this international prestigious award, which is given every three years.

The partial differential equations play a central role in many areas of science and engineering, and in mathematical problems on geometry and probability. "Research on PDEs has two sides, from computational and applied parts, to the most theoretical part in mathematical research, which I work on", notes the awardee. Mathematical research in PDEs started being developed in early 20th century, and has grown over the last decades. "However, -says Ros-, there are many basic and important questions to be answered yet, for instance, regarding the singularities of the solutions in several types of PDEs".

Xavier Ros Oton has joined this year the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the UB, where he leads the Research Group on Partial Differential Equations. He says "there are two things that helped me decide to come back to Barcelona: on the one hand, the ICREA program on recruiting international talent, and on the other, the fact that the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the UB is undergoing a good time, with great people and energy".

Mathematics, a versatile degree with future

During the last years, we saw how mathematics and statistics became the most updated profiles in the field of business. "Nowadays, mathematics play an essential role in decision-taking and the optimization of sectors, and this trend is growing. In fact, my former colleagues have different jobs: from advisors or data analyzers in different sectors, to programmers for Google or Instagram, going through people who have studied a doctoral degree in mathematics, physics or economics. This versatility makes mathematics one of the degrees with more future".

On the other hand, mathematics are among the top degrees chosen by the students with higher marks. "I would tell the current students that training does not stop with the last years of the degree, I would encourage them to continue training, both in a company or the university, or as high school lecturers".

Ros Oton has received several awards for young researchers in mathematics, including the José Luis Rubio de Francia Award by the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society (RSME) and the Antonio Valle Award to the young researcher of the Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics (SEMA). In 2019 he was awarded the Premi Fundació Princesa de Girona to scientific research 2019. He has been a lecturer in the Zurich University and R. H. Bing instructor at the University of Texas in Austin (United States). Currently, he is the principal researcher of a European Research Council Starting Grant (2019-2024).