This Tuesday at the Palais des Académies in Brussels, Queen Mathilde presented the 2015 Francqui prize to mathematician Stefaan Vaes (KU Leuven) for his research into von Neumann algebra, mathematical structures that occur within quantum mechanics. Professor Vaes’s work focuses on the structure and classification of operator algebras and has enabled him to facilitate the classification of mathematical structures within quantum mechanics. His findings have also had a huge impact on other fundamental areas of mathematics.
Stefaan Vaes was keen to stress the role mathematics play in the long chain of innovation where applied sciences tend to have greater visibility.
The Francqui Prize represents a sum of 250,000 euros, and is awarded in rotation to a scientist from one of the following subjects: exact sciences, social sciences, and biological or medical sciences.
Minister of State Mark Eyskens also announced at the ceremony that he will hand over the presidency of the Francqui Foundation to Herman Van Rompuy in October.