The Breakthrough Prize: Celebrating Science and Math

The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, financed by Yuri Milner, a Russian investor, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, comes with a $3 million award. The Breakthrough Prize is a set of international awards which aim to celebrate the best scientific work and also inspire the next generation of scientists in a number of scientific fields. The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics is the latest effort in Milner's crusade to make science lucrative and cool in a society that celebrates athletes, entertainers, politicians, and business tycoons. A year after establishing the first prize in physics, Milner created a similar prize for the life sciences, attracting sponsorship from the families of Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, and Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba. Milner said that going forward, $24 million will be awarded in eight Breakthrough Prizes each year: one in mathematics, one in physics, and six in the life sciences. Past winners serve as committee members to choose future recipients and anyone can make a nomination for the prize via the project's website.