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Nemmers Prizes

Northwestern awards show commitment to research and academic excellence

Northwestern University has announced the winners of the 2018 Nemmers Prizes in four disciplines — earth sciences, economics, mathematics and music composition — recognizing top scholars for their outstanding achievements, their contributions to new knowledge and development of significant new analysis.

The cross-disciplinary awards, given every other year, carry some of the largest monetary stipends in their fields. Winners of the prizes in earth sciences, economics and mathematics each receive $200,000, and the winner in music composition receives $100,000. A fifth winner, in medical science, will receive $200,000. That prize will be awarded later this year.

All of the winners are invited to Northwestern to deliver public lectures and participate in other scholarly activities during the 2018-2019 academic year. The winners in economics, mathematics and earth sciences will all spend one quarter on campus. The winner in music composition will conduct two residencies, one in October 2018 and the other in February 2020.

Erwin Nemmers served as a faculty member in the Kellogg School of Management from 1957 until he retired in 1986. He persuaded his brother, Frederic Nemmers, to join him in making a significant contribution to Northwestern. Their gifts, totaling $14 million, were designated for the establishment of the Nemmers Prizes and four endowed professorships in Kellogg.

At Northwestern, it is our ambition to attract the world's most transformative experts on topics of global importance and demonstrate our commitment to research and academic eminence.”

Jonathan Holloway
Provost

2018 Recipients

Francis Albarède

Francis Albarède

Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences - Francis Albarède of École Normale Supérieure de Lyon is a world leader in using geochemistry to understand the history of Earth and the solar system.

Jennifer Higdon

Jennifer Higdon

Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition - Jennifer Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize recipient and two-time Grammy Award winner, is recognized as one of the most prolific and frequently performed living composers.

David Kreps

David Kreps

Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics - David Kreps of Stanford Graduate School of Business is recognized for his work in game theory, decision theory and finance.

Assaf Naor

Assaf Naor

Frederick Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics - Assaf Naor of Princeton was selected for his profound work on the geometry of metric spaces, which has led to breakthroughs in the theory of algorithms. 

Published: April 13, 2018. Updated: April 13, 2018.

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