Maxim Kontsevich was educated at Moscow State University between 1980 and
1985, where he was a student of I.M. Gelfand. Between 1985 and 1990, he was a
junior researcher at the Institute for Problems of Information Transmission
in Moscow. In 1991, he moved to the West, where he was based at the
Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in Bonn until 1994. He also visited
the Institute for Advanced Study and Harvard University. He received his
Ph.D. from Bonn University in 1992.
Between 1994 and 1995 he was a professor at the University of California,
Berkeley, and since then he has been a professor at the IHES (Institut des
Hautes Études Scientifiques) in France. He has also held visiting
professorships at Rutgers University (1997-2002) and the University of
Professor Kontsevich has received several major prizes and distinctions,
including the Otto-Hahn-Medaille from the Max Planck Society (1992);
the Mayor of Paris's Prize (first European Congress of Mathematicians, 1992),
the Prize of the International Congress of Mathematical Physics (Brisbane,
Australia, 1997) and the Fields Medal (International Congress of
Mathematicians, 1998). In January 2008, he was awarded the Crafoord Prize,
which he shared with Edward Witten.
He has also been elected to the Academiae Europaeae
(2000) and the Académie des Sciences (2002). He has given many
invited addresses, including to the European Congress of Mathematicians (1992),
the International Congress of Mathematicians (1994), and the International
Congress of Mathematical Physics (1994).
Professor Kontsevich's research involves many areas of mathematics and
mathematical physics. In the early 1990s, he mainly worked on
topological quantum field theories, their foundations, and their
applications to pure mathematics, including homological mirror symmetry,
deformation quantization, and new constructions of varieties over
Recently, he has been concentrating on the foundations of
noncommutative algebraic geometry and the interplay between quantization
and prime characteristic. He has formulated several
new conjectures on motives, some of which will be explained in these lectures.