Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Press Releases

Show all news items

The Royal Society's 2023 Sylvester Medal is awarded to Warwick Mathematics Institute's Professor Miles Reid

The Royal Society's 2023 Sylvester Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of Mathematics has been awarded to the Warwick Mathematics Institute's Professor Miles Reid.

Professor Reid has been at University of Warwick since 1978 and has helped make the University a world centre of algebraic geometry.

The citation for the prestigious Sylvester Medal mentions "his exceptionally creative research and fundamental insights into algebraic geometry, in particular the minimal model program for 3-folds, and his untiring work for the community of algebraic geometers."

Algebraic geometry studies the solutions of algebraic equations from a geometric point of view. The precision of algebraic methods coupled with the intuitive spirit of geometry leads to powerful new directions of progress in both subjects. Algebraic geometry occupies a central position in mathematics, theoretical physics and science more generally.

Professor Reid has published several influential introductory books and lecture notes on algebraic geometry. His research around 1980 laid out some of the key ingredients and conjectures of the minimal model program for higher dimensional algebraic varieties.

This, thanks to the effort of an international community of researchers, has grown into one of the most active areas of modern pure mathematics. Professor Reid comments: "It’s wonderful to see how my research from 40 years ago now underlies an important corner of modern mathematics."

Reid's career has taken him around the world – in the 1970s and 1980s his contact with European and Asian mathematicians put him in a unique position, channelling information between great mathematical schools across the continents. Alongside his research, a major interest has been his lifelong focus on the language and culture of different countries.

Professor Reid added: “I do not intend to retire anytime soon. My work is my purpose and main pleasure in life. I particularly enjoy working with project students. Like me, these students often have a unique world view, individual thought processes and the ability to concentrate on a narrow problem to the exclusion of the world around.

"I am delighted that more women are becoming involved in STEM subject research, but we still have a long way to go in diversity issues. While gender is still very much a work in progress, achieving greater diversity and representation is an even bigger challenge."

Professor Reid is among 25 2023 Royal Society Medal and Award winners announced today – Wednesday 30 August.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said: “On behalf of the Royal Society, I offer my congratulations to all the 2023 recipients of Medals and Awards. The breadth and scope of scientific knowledge and experience reflected in this year’s nominations is nothing short of phenomenal.

“I am very proud to celebrate such outstanding scientific contributions from so many different specialisms around the world.”

The full list of medals and awards, including their description and past winners can be found on the Royal Society website:


Notes to Editors

University of Warwick press office contact:

Annie Slinn

Communications Officer | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick Email:

30 August 2023

Wed 30 Aug 2023, 09:16 | Tags: Awards, Mathematics, Mathematics Institute