The prize is awarded for solutions to fundamental problems in the theory of flexible polyhedra, laying the foundations for developing robotics.
Alexander Gaifullinwas born on March 22, 1984, in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region. He is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, PhD in physics and mathematics, and leading researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences Steklov Mathematical Institute.
Mr Gaifullin works in the field of theory of flexible polyhedra – polyhedra with ‘knuckle joints’ that make it possible for the faces to move. Mr Gaifullin’s contribution to developing the theory of flexible polyhedra can be said to have laid the basis for the theory’s multidimensional aspect. Only very few examples of four-dimensional flexible polyhedra were known before Mr Gaifullin’s work was made public, and there were no previous examples of flexible polyhedra of five dimensions or more.
Mr Gaifullin’s methods and results could be described as having created a new field in geometry and topology, which has significant influence on the development of related fields of mathematics and their applications.
The results of Mr Gaifullin’s work in this field are important for building robots and complex technological objects, for example, solar battery panels for satellites, which need to be stored compactly during launch, then unfold in outer space and take up a large area.
Mr Gaifullin has also resolved a number of complex problems in the field of algebraic topology, a field that lies between geometry and combinatorics.